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You're Invited: The Art and Science of Cultivating Influence

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Regardless of what you want to accomplish, from growing your business, creating a great company culture, championing a social cause, or affecting your habits, you can’t do it alone. The people around you define your success (whatever that means for you) and they have the potential to change the course of your life. That’s what You’re Invited is about: The most universal str Regardless of what you want to accomplish, from growing your business, creating a great company culture, championing a social cause, or affecting your habits, you can’t do it alone. The people around you define your success (whatever that means for you) and they have the potential to change the course of your life. That’s what You’re Invited is about: The most universal strategy for success is creating meaningful connections with those who can impact you, your life, and the things you care about. But how do you make those connections and build trust quickly? What do you do if you’re introverted or hate networking?   Behavioral scientist Jon Levy had no money, reputation or status, but was able to convince groups of Nobel Laureates, Olympians, celebrities, Fortune 500 executives, and even an occasional princess to not only give him advice, but cook him dinner, wash his dishes, sweep his floors, and then thank him for the experience. The goal of his gatherings, much like this book, was not networking, but to build meaningful and lasting relationships.     This private community based around the dinner experience became known as “The Influencers”, named for the member’s success and industry influence. Since its inception more than a decade ago, The Influencers has grown into the largest private group of its kind worldwide, with a thriving community both in person and through digital experiences. In You’re Invited, Levy guides readers through the art and science of creating deep and meaningful connections with anyone, regardless of their stature or celebrity, and demonstrates how we develop influence, gain trust, and build community so that we can impact our communities and achieve what’s important to us. 


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Regardless of what you want to accomplish, from growing your business, creating a great company culture, championing a social cause, or affecting your habits, you can’t do it alone. The people around you define your success (whatever that means for you) and they have the potential to change the course of your life. That’s what You’re Invited is about: The most universal str Regardless of what you want to accomplish, from growing your business, creating a great company culture, championing a social cause, or affecting your habits, you can’t do it alone. The people around you define your success (whatever that means for you) and they have the potential to change the course of your life. That’s what You’re Invited is about: The most universal strategy for success is creating meaningful connections with those who can impact you, your life, and the things you care about. But how do you make those connections and build trust quickly? What do you do if you’re introverted or hate networking?   Behavioral scientist Jon Levy had no money, reputation or status, but was able to convince groups of Nobel Laureates, Olympians, celebrities, Fortune 500 executives, and even an occasional princess to not only give him advice, but cook him dinner, wash his dishes, sweep his floors, and then thank him for the experience. The goal of his gatherings, much like this book, was not networking, but to build meaningful and lasting relationships.     This private community based around the dinner experience became known as “The Influencers”, named for the member’s success and industry influence. Since its inception more than a decade ago, The Influencers has grown into the largest private group of its kind worldwide, with a thriving community both in person and through digital experiences. In You’re Invited, Levy guides readers through the art and science of creating deep and meaningful connections with anyone, regardless of their stature or celebrity, and demonstrates how we develop influence, gain trust, and build community so that we can impact our communities and achieve what’s important to us. 

30 review for You're Invited: The Art and Science of Cultivating Influence

  1. 5 out of 5

    Irina Kozyrkov

    I loved this book. It's an easy read, but that doesn't mean it's without substance. Quite the contrary - this book is medicine for the loneliness epidemic and it's more urgently needed now than ever. Many of us have lost close ties with supportive communities and we're far away from our friends. "You're Invited" helps you *do* something about it. It's about learning to grow your influence so you can build communities and friendships. I'm a professional behavioral scientist, so I kept an eye out f I loved this book. It's an easy read, but that doesn't mean it's without substance. Quite the contrary - this book is medicine for the loneliness epidemic and it's more urgently needed now than ever. Many of us have lost close ties with supportive communities and we're far away from our friends. "You're Invited" helps you *do* something about it. It's about learning to grow your influence so you can build communities and friendships. I'm a professional behavioral scientist, so I kept an eye out for how the research references are handled and I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised. Of course, if you're here for a densely academic book, this one is not for you, since there is plenty of anecdotal storytelling. This book is an easy and informative read for the non-scientist but it doesn't cause any science eye-rolls. (A tough balance to strike.) The author does a good job balancing engaging stories, applied advice, highlighted core concepts, and supporting research. It hits all the right notes. But that's not the best part. The best part is that it really motivates the reader to make a positive change. Before I read the book, I was wallowing in a pandemic social-life slump. After the book, I was inspired to go out and build new friendships. And I took the book's advice, which I can thank for a whole bouquet of fun new friends (digital and in-person). As a scientist in this field, I already was aware of much of the science described in the book, but that wasn't enough. I wasn't motivated. That's the magical difference here. The author talks about the importance of using behavioral science for good and lives up to it since the tips in the book create friendships and communities. Get the book. Do what it says. Be happier and more connected to the people around you. You'll be glad you did. Highly recommended!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paul Miller

    Well-intentioned - if you wish to cultivate a community in support of a business objective, a cause, or simply for social reasons, you will achieve better outcomes if you're purposeful about it. All well and good. He's got some great experiences to share but doesn't take that extra step of formulating the guidance into simple lists/tables/charts. Just prose, prose, prose. Decent book but would've been much better with another pass through Editing. Well-intentioned - if you wish to cultivate a community in support of a business objective, a cause, or simply for social reasons, you will achieve better outcomes if you're purposeful about it. All well and good. He's got some great experiences to share but doesn't take that extra step of formulating the guidance into simple lists/tables/charts. Just prose, prose, prose. Decent book but would've been much better with another pass through Editing.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Zibby Owens

    The book explores this idea of how do we make deep and meaningful relationships with anybody and where do we start? It doesn't matter if they're a global leader or a celebrity, or a community leader that you just find really interesting. How do you build trust in a meaningful way? How do you foster the sense of community and belonging around you? The author is a behavioral scientist and investigated these questions by getting advice from celebrities and important people to join a private communi The book explores this idea of how do we make deep and meaningful relationships with anybody and where do we start? It doesn't matter if they're a global leader or a celebrity, or a community leader that you just find really interesting. How do you build trust in a meaningful way? How do you foster the sense of community and belonging around you? The author is a behavioral scientist and investigated these questions by getting advice from celebrities and important people to join a private community based around the dining experience known as “The Influencers.” I found totally fascinating that making connections could be taught as a skill set. The author even has a formula: influence equals (connection times trust) to the power of the sense of community. This is just something that makes me feel good, which you have turned into a quantifiable something that you can acquire. To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at: https://zibbyowens.com/transcript/jon...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Witte

    I don’t really know why I read this book, but I think I’m glad I did? Mostly? It’s about how to benevolently “influence” people and share human connection, whether you’re trying to make new friends or trying to sell stuff to strangers. It’s an interesting take on how to make others interested and trusting in a brand—even if that brand is just YOU. I would recommend this to my friends starting businesses or looking to create community events. Well-written and practical advice. Fun anecdotes. What I don’t really know why I read this book, but I think I’m glad I did? Mostly? It’s about how to benevolently “influence” people and share human connection, whether you’re trying to make new friends or trying to sell stuff to strangers. It’s an interesting take on how to make others interested and trusting in a brand—even if that brand is just YOU. I would recommend this to my friends starting businesses or looking to create community events. Well-written and practical advice. Fun anecdotes. What did I get out of it though? Er…I dunno, but it was entertaining and felt like a peak behind the curtain of marketing (to which I fall victim every day always).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Madoff

    "You're Invited" is an interesting read for anyone trying to understand the psychology of relationships and influence. It's not about "networking", an activity the author does not like, it's about building a sense of community, where the building blocks are honesty, trust, competence and benevolence. Trust is an essential building block. What's interesting about the book and the studies that Levy writes about, it that much of the process of building relationships is fascinating and makes perfect "You're Invited" is an interesting read for anyone trying to understand the psychology of relationships and influence. It's not about "networking", an activity the author does not like, it's about building a sense of community, where the building blocks are honesty, trust, competence and benevolence. Trust is an essential building block. What's interesting about the book and the studies that Levy writes about, it that much of the process of building relationships is fascinating and makes perfect sense, once he uncovers the behaviors behind them. Lot's of "Aha!" moments. It is a well written, fascinating read with a generous helping of insights one can apply to their own life.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jason Binford

    I bought "You're Invited" after reading the favorable review in the Wall Street Journal. I was already searching for resources for re-engaging with people in person after more than a year of sad and impersonal Zoom meetings. This book was exactly what I was looking for. It has given me all sorts of ideas for getting back out there. And, it is doubly helpful for me because I just moved to a new city and these ideas will really help me get plugged into the community. Highly recommended! I bought "You're Invited" after reading the favorable review in the Wall Street Journal. I was already searching for resources for re-engaging with people in person after more than a year of sad and impersonal Zoom meetings. This book was exactly what I was looking for. It has given me all sorts of ideas for getting back out there. And, it is doubly helpful for me because I just moved to a new city and these ideas will really help me get plugged into the community. Highly recommended!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    4/5 stars I liked this! I would recommend you read this in concert with The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, which approaches gathering in a similar but more detailed way and focuses less on the idea of influence. 4/5 stars I liked this! I would recommend you read this in concert with The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, which approaches gathering in a similar but more detailed way and focuses less on the idea of influence.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    Jon Levy has written a modern How To Win Friends and Influence People bolstered by data and case studies that take the reader inside the process of real change and connection. You’re Invited is an argument and guidebook for putting aside the division that permeates our culture and building a more humane world in which people will thrive simply by knowing one another better.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    "You're Invited" is way more aligned with my preferred action-fueled style than the academic, pedagogical books on influence by Robert Cialdini. And definitely agree - human connection is both art and science - and both are deeply and complementarily covered here. This feels both timeless and timely, with insights you'd find helpful anytime as well as guidance for navigating intimacy and community during the post-pandemic times. P.S. Read cover to cover for a fun hidden surprise :) "You're Invited" is way more aligned with my preferred action-fueled style than the academic, pedagogical books on influence by Robert Cialdini. And definitely agree - human connection is both art and science - and both are deeply and complementarily covered here. This feels both timeless and timely, with insights you'd find helpful anytime as well as guidance for navigating intimacy and community during the post-pandemic times. P.S. Read cover to cover for a fun hidden surprise :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Craig Adamson

    An insightful book about the importance of networking and creating human connections. The author says what others either don’t or wont say “you gotta do this for the right reasons snd to help other people… then you get rewarded. And you might have to help others FIRST for a LONG time before you get paid back for your generosity.” This book is basically my style so it’s fairly intuitive. However if wish I’d come up with some of these ideas in my 20s as I would be further ahead today. Anyone of any An insightful book about the importance of networking and creating human connections. The author says what others either don’t or wont say “you gotta do this for the right reasons snd to help other people… then you get rewarded. And you might have to help others FIRST for a LONG time before you get paid back for your generosity.” This book is basically my style so it’s fairly intuitive. However if wish I’d come up with some of these ideas in my 20s as I would be further ahead today. Anyone of any age would benefit from reading this, 20s and 30 somethings who have more time to play the long game should adopt these strategies to meet and serve others. Since I listened to the audio book I really wish the author had not read it. He is winsome but he’s not a good reader so even though it’s his material it’s often awkward or at least he is awkward in his delivery. There are also some repetitive statements that better editing may have eliminated. Additionally, the author is creative. And he implored readers not to copy him but to “think of something unique and powerful/impactful.” Nice advice. Yes I’ll just come up with something creative when I reading your book and likely not creative at all. Too bad he couldn’t share some brainstorming exercises to help people get started. Personally, I liked the stories he share for successes and failures. Some people just have money and no brains. And it does pay to think whether you have a budget or not. I also liked that he encouraged people to start small. Try something. Don’t spend a ton of money. Make some mistakes and don’t be afraid to fail a few times before things get going on your project. It also felt like he was trying too hard to be inclusive and was obligated to name drop severally of our newest cultural minorities. I couldn’t tell if it was genuine or out of fear for people “cancelling” his book. Distracting but not enough to detract from the overall book. However these references will date this book fairly quickly. I’d listen to it read again to refresh my memory but largely I agree with his premise of doing good first and foremost and then seeing what happens from there.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Jon Levy takes a practical, relatable and science-based approach in this important book about the science of human connection. He has honed in on key insights that are so relevant today, both during the pandemic and beyond, and offers examples that make these points understandable and actionable -- without being too prescriptive. This book has already proven useful to me in my own life and career, with insights that have changed the way I've approached networking and community for the better. I' Jon Levy takes a practical, relatable and science-based approach in this important book about the science of human connection. He has honed in on key insights that are so relevant today, both during the pandemic and beyond, and offers examples that make these points understandable and actionable -- without being too prescriptive. This book has already proven useful to me in my own life and career, with insights that have changed the way I've approached networking and community for the better. I've found myself thinking about this book often, months after reading it, frequently revisiting chapters and making connections between the points and experiences in my own life and profession. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand the science behind growing social connections, relationships and influence for good.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nigel

    This is a useful book. It's about increasing your influence to help you make friends. What I like is that it's a lot more useful than Dale Carnegie's 'How to Make Friends and Influence People' which simply tells you that the secret is to be interested in the other person. This book gives you a much bigger bag of tricks from science that you can use to put people at their ease and create contexts where friendship is more likely to develop. What I especially appreciated as an introvert is that it' This is a useful book. It's about increasing your influence to help you make friends. What I like is that it's a lot more useful than Dale Carnegie's 'How to Make Friends and Influence People' which simply tells you that the secret is to be interested in the other person. This book gives you a much bigger bag of tricks from science that you can use to put people at their ease and create contexts where friendship is more likely to develop. What I especially appreciated as an introvert is that it's not just for flamboyant, extroverted people, but it appeals to a broad range of audiences with a broad range of social skills. Kudos to the author for that. I liked it a lot, especially the applied stuff.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    This was not recycled content (as so many of these kinds of books are) - I appreciate that. spotlight and halo effects "With an excuse of competence - whether it's true or not - most people will be forgiving and move on." "Specifically what people want [from the heads of their industry] falls into five categories I call their STEAM: Status, Time, Expertise, Access, and Money." "Great design can be just as much about eliminating distractions and unnecessary elements ...as it is about adding fun or us This was not recycled content (as so many of these kinds of books are) - I appreciate that. spotlight and halo effects "With an excuse of competence - whether it's true or not - most people will be forgiving and move on." "Specifically what people want [from the heads of their industry] falls into five categories I call their STEAM: Status, Time, Expertise, Access, and Money." "Great design can be just as much about eliminating distractions and unnecessary elements ...as it is about adding fun or useful characteristics." "Although we might feel that people are more hateful and angry than ever, it may just be that they are isolated, scared, and lovely."

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lady Magic

    I found Jon Levy’s latest book interesting, readable, and inspiring. I breezed through it one summer Friday night. Jon is a behavioral scientist and founder of The Influencers Dinner, a secret dining experience for industry and global influencers, as well as consultant to companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500. This book focuses on *the power of an invitation*, and how to create meaningful connections and build trust to foster lasting relationships. He pulls from varied examples as well I found Jon Levy’s latest book interesting, readable, and inspiring. I breezed through it one summer Friday night. Jon is a behavioral scientist and founder of The Influencers Dinner, a secret dining experience for industry and global influencers, as well as consultant to companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500. This book focuses on *the power of an invitation*, and how to create meaningful connections and build trust to foster lasting relationships. He pulls from varied examples as well as his own personal experience to lay out the theory behind the “influence equation”((connection x trust)^(sense of community)). The final two sections of the book shift to how to use this equation, and how to apply it in your life based on your goals and how you may want to influence on personal, community, industry, or global levels. All in all, this was an easy, informational read which inspired me to reflect and thoughtfully consider how I can create more intentional and meaningful relationships to support my values and goals.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    A lot of the ideas in this book are way out of my comfort zone! What I found most helpful were the ideas around how to build community. I was glad to see that some of his recommendations are things that I've stumbled onto on my own with my team. I've also gleaned some good ideas to help plan future events for other audiences. A lot of the ideas in this book are way out of my comfort zone! What I found most helpful were the ideas around how to build community. I was glad to see that some of his recommendations are things that I've stumbled onto on my own with my team. I've also gleaned some good ideas to help plan future events for other audiences.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Josh Katz

    Jon Levy is a master of community building and this highly entertaining read is further proof. This is part pop psychology, full of fascinating case studies, part actionable guideline for building your own communities. He's careful to cover all the bases, so whether you're creating creating events for a huge company or a tiny social circle, you'll finish this book inspired. Jon Levy is a master of community building and this highly entertaining read is further proof. This is part pop psychology, full of fascinating case studies, part actionable guideline for building your own communities. He's careful to cover all the bases, so whether you're creating creating events for a huge company or a tiny social circle, you'll finish this book inspired.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Margarita

    A compact and digestible read about how to make meaningful connections. Levy spends time on ideas surrounding benevolence, authenticity and community. The book encourages readers to be introspective – spend time discovering what you like and who you want to be. Relationships and experiences are far more rewarding when approached authentically.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I forgot that I don’t like inspirational type books. And this one kind of read like a wannabe Malcolm Gladwell. I’ve never much liked Malcolm Gladwell.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tom Mobley

    A lot of good ideas on ways to build your network and organizational culture. Already applying what I have learned.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Sonnenberg

    Best book of 2021

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robert Robinson

    Fascinating and to the point, going in directions that felt as if Jon was talking to me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Hajimirsadeghi

    A quick, easy read. It was smooth, quite coherent and not difficult to understand. Some of the tidbits seem kind of obvious though, while others I found to be interesting pieces of information. Recommend picking it up at your local library.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vic A.

    I have just started reading this book and breezed through the first 4 chapters. Amazing and insightful science. It's been a tough year. This book inspires to bring people together, and that's exactly what we need right now! I have just started reading this book and breezed through the first 4 chapters. Amazing and insightful science. It's been a tough year. This book inspires to bring people together, and that's exactly what we need right now!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Prudence

  25. 4 out of 5

    TΞΞL❍CK Mith!lesh

  26. 4 out of 5

    MH

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elijah Zoarski

  28. 4 out of 5

    James

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Young

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ashton Jordan

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