197. Influence and Adventure with Jon Levy

Frequently as podcast co-hosts (and as people), we make big, bold, uncomfortable moves towards things we value. As podcasters, these moves often look like asking high-profile researchers, scientists, clinicians, and influencers to be on our show. These social networking moves, though anxiety and imposter-syndrome inducing, have resulted in the creation of a podcast that we all feel quite proud of. Of course, we are frequently challenged to make these types of social networking moves outside of podcasting as well!

We’ve all likely experienced this in contexts where we interact with people we admire, and regardless of the context, these moves are typically pretty scary. On this week’s episode of Psychologists Off the Clock, Debbie talks with Jon Levy, influencing and adventuring expert and author of You’re Invited, about cultivating influence and why it’s so important (and challenging!). Grab your fanciest avocado toast or your Indiana-Jones-est satchel, and join us in this episode to learn about networking today!

Listen and Learn:

  • About Debbie’s adventure at one of Jon’s networking dinners
  • Jill and Debbie’s take on the results of being bold in the face of discomfort
  • How and why Jon started hosting his influencer dinners
  • Jon’s take on why people from all walks of life would want to attend a dinner with strangers
  • The behavioral science that informs Jon’s work 
  • What exactly the “Ikea Effect” is
  • Practical advice on how to create meaningful digital interactions (despite rampant Zoom fatigue)
  • Jon’s expert definition of influence and his equation for achieving it
  • Factors that help build a sense of trust with people
  • How to kindly, gently, and professionally set good boundaries (even with the high profile folks!)
  • Some words of wisdom for the return to socializing post-pandemic 
  • Jon’s expert definition of adventure and why it’s important in life
  • The relationship between discomfort and growth

About Jon Levy

Jon Levy is a behavioral scientist best known for his work in influence, human connection, and decision making. Levy specializes in applying the latest research to transform the ways companies approach marketing, sales, consumer engagement, and culture. His clients range from Fortune 500 brands to startups. More than a decade ago, Jon founded The Influencers Dinner, a secret dining experience for industry leaders ranging from Nobel laureates, Olympians, celebrities, and executives, to artists, musicians, and even the occasional princess. Guests cook dinner together but can’t discuss their career or give their last name, and once seated to eat, they play a game to reveal who they are. Over time, these dinners developed into a community. With thousands of members, Influencers is the largest community of its type worldwide. In his free time, Jon works on outrageous projects. Among them spending a year traveling to all 7 continents, or to the world’s greatest events (Grand Prix, Art Basel, Burning Man, Running of the Bulls, etc.) and barely surviving to tell the tale. These Adventures were chronicled in his first book: The 2 AM Principle: Discover the Science of Adventure. In Levy’s latest book,You’re Invited: The Art and Science of Cultivating Influence, readers are guided 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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Episode 197