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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars providing hope and tools, 21 May 2010
This review is from: Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, First edition (Hardcover) (Hardcover)
A book that starts with the subtitle 'the power to change anything' provokes immediate cynicism. Who could ever claim this? However, the authors in my opinion manage to fulfill their promise. Not through providing some cheesy tools or idealism (be good and you will receive good), but by showing how people's backgrounds and context determine why they behave as they do and what can be done to change this.

This change is not easy, as it requires trying out of what works and what does not. But the book provides a framework for the efforts you can apply to change things (for better or worse). The framework is as follows:
1. focus on changing behavior, not on changing results (results follow, but cannot be influenced)
2. work on both motivation (is it worth behaving in a new way, the 'why') and ability (am I able to do this, the 'how')
3. work on 3 levels: personal/individual - group/social - structural/systemic

This framework can be used both as a diagnosis tool to understand current behavior, as well as a tool for directing change efforts.

Apart from the framework, the book provides wonderful stories about successful major change (Delancey Street Foundation as the biggest miracle work for me), and insights into what works and what does not. Pivotal for me is that working on personal ability - through purposeful practice - can give an enormous boost to the right behavior. And it is so much easier than trying to improve motivation.

I recommend all people to read this book as these insights work in business, society and private life.
And most of all it provides hope that, indeed, (almost) anything can be changed for the better.
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