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From Influence to Imagination: Dorie Clark and Eric Ruben’s Recommendations

During their appearance on Smashing the Plateau, Dorie Clark and Eric Ruben drew on their huge range of experiences (in law, literature, performance, business, academia and more) to discuss personal branding and reputation management. After the episode, each provided a list of two people who had influenced them. The resulting list is a wonderfully diverse set of recommendations, covering topics from influence and persuasion to imagination and the law. Enjoy!

1. Robert Cialdini – Clark

Clark writes that “Every business person needs to understand influence and persuasion,” and that Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is a particularly good place to start: “He is an eminent psychologist, and his book really is seminal when it comes to the psychology of business… If you are a business person or just curious about life, it’s a very good read.” Follow Cialdini at @RobertCialdini.

2. Hazard Gillespie – Ruben

“A brilliant lawyer and friend,” Gillespie was a top litigator and senior counsel at the Manhattan firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell, and former United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. Ruben describes how Gillespie “often spoke to me about how important it was not just to go to the books to see what the law was, but to use one’s imagination to see where the law should be going–and to be persuasive about moving forward, and not taking just the usual argument, but thinking outside the box. (Which is another phrase that’s been overused, but in this case I’m going with it!)” Read or listen to Gillespie’s biography, as recounted by himself, at Old New York Stories

3. Alan Weiss – Clark

Weiss gives “great advice about the business of consulting and how to run a successful practice.” Clark describes how “Anybody who sells professional services can benefit from it… he has a lot of really good insights about structuring the mechanics of everything from writing your proposals to how to deal with clients… I think a lot of people get into consulting or other service businesses and they don’t really know a lot of these elements, and you need to learn them into order to actually have a successful, sustainable business. And so when I was first starting out, reading his material was very helpful.” Follow Weiss at @BentleyGTCSpeed.

4. Ariel and Shya Kane – Ruben

The authors of Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work: A Book About Instantaneous Transformation lead workshops on transformational technology, communication and business. Ruben says that “They have been close personal friends for years, but also been great mentors and teachers in taking a look at our mechanical behaviors–things that we automatically do that we can’t even see, that limit us. And to see what’s possible beyond what we think is possible.”



About the author, David Shriner-Cahn

David is the podcast host and community builder behind Smashing the Plateau, an online platform offering resources, accountability, and camaraderie to high-performing professionals who are making the leap from the corporate career track to entrepreneurial business ownership.

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