You’re Invited | Jon Levy

Summary of: You’re Invited: The Art and Science of Cultivating Influence
By: Jon Levy


Dive into the powerful world of human connection and explore the principles behind successful businesses and social movements in ‘You’re Invited: The Art and Science of Cultivating Influence’ by Jon Levy. This summary guides you on how to build trust quickly, create valuable experiences for others, and balance shared values with diversity. Ultimately, you’ll learn that the most influential social movements and businesses have started small, often from a personal need, and expanded organically through genuine connections and understanding human needs.

The Power of Human Connection

Jean Nidetech’s struggle to lose weight paved the way for a multimillion-dollar business, Weight Watchers. The key takeaway is the importance of human connection in every successful social movement or business. Our deep need for connection stems from our evolution in tribes and this need is not only necessary for survival but also has a significant impact on our well-being. Matt Lieberman’s research shows that social isolation affects the same areas of the brain that are activated by physical pain, and it carries the same health risks as smoking a pack of cigarettes every day. Successful companies, community movements, and activist protests have one thing in common: they give people the chance to be part of something bigger than themselves. By creating engaged, trust-filled communities, organizations and people can have a real and lasting influence.

Building Trust Quickly

Humans have a natural tendency to build trusting relationships with other people, but this also makes us vulnerable to getting hurt. To make it easier to determine who to trust, we’ve developed biases and screening mechanisms. One way to build trust quickly is to rely on trusted referrals, a powerful shortcut for building trust known as “the halo effect.” Another strategy is to place people in a situation where they’re required to be vulnerable with one another, creating “vulnerability loops” that quickly boost trust. Designing your own events that draw on these trust-building powers can help you build trust quickly and effectively. Ultimately, building trust quickly is essential to creating a community.

The Power of Contribution

Do you want to impress someone? Don’t focus on buying expensive gifts. People value things they’ve contributed to more than they value things they’ve been given. This is because they care about things they put effort into. For example, IKEA has leveraged this insight into an extraordinary business by making us assemble their furniture. By creating events where friends or clients will be required to make an effort, you can create an experience that they’ll value more. This creates more actual value for your clients and allows you to bond with them. At the author’s famous Influencer Dinners, 12 strangers are brought together to share a meal. They have to cook it themselves in under an hour, and in the rush to complete the meal, these strangers become united in their common task.

The Power of Diversity in Community Building

In this book, the author discusses the importance of diversity in community building. He tells the story of how a Florida real estate developer managed to sell out his retirement homes even after the financial crisis of 2008 by targeting Indian retirees and creating a community that offered Indian culture right there in Florida. The key message is that shared values are important but diversity is also crucial when creating a community. The author emphasizes that surrounding ourselves with people who are different from us exposes us to new ideas and perspectives, which is essential for anyone who aims to have a broader influence in the world, whether it be creating a business or social movement. To do this, we need to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and understand the various social pressures they experience. Ultimately, the author highlights the significance of diversity in connecting with a wide range of people and contributing to their lives.

Connecting with Anyone

Connecting with people outside of your social circles doesn’t have to be impossible. By approaching them with empathy and consideration, you can develop tailor-made invitations that contribute to their lives. To connect with global influencers, like Oprah, it’s fruitless to reach out to them directly. Instead, build relationships with people in their orbit and ask for an introduction from someone they trust. For industry leaders, make sure you offer them an opportunity to participate in an event with real value, like TED Conferences. Lastly, connecting with community influencers requires a different approach. Focus on setting up initiatives that provide real skills, opportunities, and resources for people in the community rather than just endorsing a festival or celebrity. By putting yourself in their shoes, you can offer an invitation that will make a real contribution to their lives and build intense loyalty.

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