Global Leadership Summit :: Joseph Grenny – Leadership is Intentional Influence

joseph grennyBusiness strategy expert who has developed a proven method for driving sustainable and measurable change in human behavior
Founded corporate training company, VitalSmarts—one of the fastest growing companies in America that has taught 300 of the Fortune 500 Companies
Utilizing a research-based approach to organizational effectiveness, he is author of four best-selling books including Crucial Conversations and Influencer: The Power to Change Anything


Leadership is Intentional Influence

  • Influence isn’t something you’re necessarily born with, but it can be learned.
  • Inspiration and vision are essential, but unless that goes into changed behavior, then we fail.
  • Unless you and I understand how our environments have changed, then we won’t be true leaders.
  • Leadership is intentional influence.
  • Smoking rates have dropped by half because people of influence have figured out how to influence people to not smoke.
  • In 2007, 61% of Americans said religion is losing influence.
  • 80% of Americans know a Christian.
  • In just the Nairobi area there are 800,000 women in the sex trade.
  • So let’s say that you wanted to take on this problem, and influence these women to get out of the sex trade.
  • A vital behavior – Make and keep weekly commitments to income and savings.
  • We brought some kids into the lab, and gave them the opportunity to make easy money with simple tasks in a brief amount of time. We hoped that they would save their money so they could use it later.
  • So how did they do?
  • The only temptation we offered them, was the opportunity for them to buy things at our table that were priced 5-10 times more expensive than they would pay in the store. These kids knew these weren’t good deals.
  • Out of a potential $40 in savings, the average person took home $13. Not a good outcome.
  • Why?
  • We so often believe that the reason people do what they do is because they lack commitment and resolve. This is a naive view of the world.
  • It causes us when people fail to deliver another sermon.
  • There were intentional influence systems put in place in this experiment, and the same that these women experience in sex trade.
  • We gave them a personal motivation.
  • We didn’t give them training.
  • We gave them social influence.
  • We are many times socially motivated.
  • We tried to manipulate structural incentives.
  • We surrounded the room with decorations.
  • What we know is that if you amass a strategy that includes all six sources of influence, then people change.
  • Six sources of influence
    • Motivation: Personal, Social, Structural
    • Ability: Personal, Social, Structural
  • How do you think through each of these areas?
  • Personal motivation problems are those where the good behavior feels bad, but the bad behavior feels good.
  • How do you think about solving that problem?
  • You and I tend to believe that behavior has intrinsic emotions associated with it. It doesn’t.
  • Our job as an influencer is make the good stuff feel pleasurable, and the bad stuff feel bad.
  • People can profoundly change the way they feel about any choice.
  • Our job as an influencer is to influence the frame of the decision.
  • Help people frame the specific daily decisions they’re making in godly ways.
  • If you ask people to start a savings account, they don’t save near as much as if you call it a new TV account.
  • As influencers, what we understand is that motivation is a big part of change, but what we don’t get is that ability has a profound impact.
  • Skills are a substantial part of influence.
  • If you want more influence, you need to involve people in more experience of deliberate practice.
  • I learn alot at church, but church does not resemble the real world.
  • If you want me to increase my capacity to practice healthier behavior, then you have to help me practice in real conditions.
  • Don’t just build aspirations, but develop skills to achieve those aspirations.
  • If you reframe decisions from an economic to social decisions it will change people’s minds.
  • You have to learn to employ social abilities in order to have influence.
  • If you increase incentives for increasing income and savings, then you will gain influence.
  • The space we inhabit affects our decisions.
  • Use data cues, tools, and surroundings to: Make bad behavior harder and conscious.
  • The point is that these 6 sources of influence aren’t something we get to vote on. They’re just there.
  • Those who used six sources of influence were ten times likelier to produce profound behavior change.
  • You want to change the world, learn how to change behavior.

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