How Do You Become Influential? Jon Levy Reveals His Surprising Secrets

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By Kurt Nelson, PhD and Tim Houlihan, Kurt Nelson, and Tim Houlihan. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Our guest, Jon Levy, is arguably one of the most influential behavioral scientists in the world. Over 10 years ago, Jon founded The Influencers Dinner, a secret dining experience for industry leaders ranging from Olympians, Nobel laureates, executives, to musicians. Over the course of the last decade, these dinners have developed into a wide community of influential people.

Our opening speed round with Jon did not disappoint. We learn his unique perspective on which Star Trek Captains was the best, and the surprising answer to who his dream guest was at one of his dinners.

In our discussion with Jon, he shares the secrets behind his influential approach: what motivated him to start this novel idea, how he developed it and the key steps behind the ongoing success of the community that he has curated.

Jon’s second book, “You’re Invited: The Art and Science of Cultivating Influence” https://amzn.to/2RmlUlA is released on May 11, 2021. Which follows his hugely successful first book: “The 2 AM Principle: Discover the Science of Adventurehttps://amzn.to/3eS3p0m. We had the privilege of previewing his latest book for this interview and we were blown away by Jon’s unique approach to cultivating human connections through trust and community.

Of course, we discuss what music Jon has been listening to at home and we are surprised to learn what has recently sparked his musical interest. Jon has found that through his Influence Dinners, he has hosted a lot of his childhood pop idols, which he still enjoys listening to.

Thanks for listening and thank you for taking a minute to join the others who have already left us a review.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves

Jon Levy's Books

You're Invited: The Art and Science of Cultivating Influence https://amzn.to/2RmlUlA

The 2 AM Principle: Discover the Science of Adventure https://amzn.to/3eS3p0m

Links

Jon Levy https://www.jonlevytlb.com/

Peter Cullen (voice of Optimus Prime) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Cullen

James T. Kirk https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_T._Kirk

Jean-Luc Picard https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Luc_Picard

Neil deGrasse Tyson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_deGrasse_Tyson

Oprah https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oprah_Winfrey

Beyonce https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beyonc%C3%A9

Sir Richard Branson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Branson

Stephen Hawking https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking

Disney https://www.disney.com/

Mark Zuckerberg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Zuckerberg

Nicholas Christakis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Christakis

James H. Fowler https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_H._Fowler

The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years

Christakis and Fowler (2007) https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmsa066082

Nike Run Club https://www.nike.com/gb/nrc-app

Bill Nye the Science Guy https://billnye.com/

Parkour https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkour

The Daily Show https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Daily_Show

The New York Times: Want to Meet Influential New Yorkers? Invite Them to Dinner

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/10/fashion/want-to-meet-influential-new-yorkers-invite-them-to-dinner.html

SNVTA - Ventral tegmental area of the brain https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventral_tegmental_area

Davos https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davos

Bill Gates https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gates

Angela Merkel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angela_Merkel

TED https://www.ted.com/

My Octopus Teacher https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Octopus_Teacher

United States Navy SEAL selection and training https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Navy_SEAL_selection_and_training

The IKEA Effect https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IKEA_effect#:~:text=The%20IKEA%20effect%20is%20a,of%20furniture%20that%20require%20assembly

Common Biases & Heuristics https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit?usp=sharing

Brené Brown https://brenebrown.com/about/

Adam Grant https://www.adamgrant.net/

Behavioral Grooves Patreon https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves

Musical Links

Bridgerton Soundtrack https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rowHZd7-F1U&ab_channel=LoopedSongs

Vitamin String Quartet “Thank u, next” (Ariana Grande) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmljfYBkGVg

John Williams “The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7HF4JG1pOg&list=PL2yW2adfehiV0-wSa784KIT1ZJ5_YEVjd&index=2&ab_channel=JohnWilliamsVEVO

Tribe Called Quest “Electric Relaxation“ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHRnvjCkTsw&ab_channel=TribeCalledQuestVEVO

Biggie Smalls (The Notorious B.I.G.) “Big Poppa” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phaJXp_zMYM

Maroon Five “Sugar” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09R8_2nJtjg&ab_channel=Maroon5VEVO

98 Degrees “I Do (Cherish You)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09R8_2nJtjg&ab_channel=Maroon5VEVO

Cowboy Junkies “Sweet Jane” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fa9nN3G2CSg&t=173s

The Tragically Hip “Ahead by a Century” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE2joQsWXJg

Topics

(4:46) Speed Round Questions

(9:03) Power vs Influence

(13:00) Why do we want influence?

(20:21) Jon discusses his new book

(25:41) Jon became influential

(32:11) How to create a community

(37:03) How trust is made and how to trigger it

(41:00) Music

(1:13:11) Bonus Track and Groove Idea

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Mapping the Influence of Corporate Cultures – Silke Brittain (Episode 12) https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/mapping-the-influence-of-corporate-cultures-silke-brittain/

Robert Cialdini, PhD: Littering, Egoism and Aretha Franklin (Episode 50) https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/robert-cialdini-phd-littering-egoism-and-aretha-franklin/

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