Thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Greenleaf Book Group Press for providing this DRC in exchange for an honest review.

Emily is frustrated in her position at work, and though driven to succeed, she isn’t sure what direction she can go. After being passed up three times for a promotion, despite outshining the recipients, she knows she has to do something to confront her boss about the discrimination, and set an example for her team. She meets David Ford, former manufacturing CEO, at a local coffee shop called the Slow by Slow. A man who is quick to the punch, David can tell that Emily is unhappy with her corporate position, and offers some council on influence. After noting the success of his advice, Emily returns for more, and the two strike up a deal in which David gives Emily leadership lessons.

As I read, I appreciated the narrative woven between the astute leadership tutelage. In this way, the reader doesn’t feel as if they are reading dry nonfiction self-help – they’re seeing the applicable instruction put to use through the plot’s central conflict. I think it’s very clever of the authors. Many children’s books do the same for the purpose of learning, so why not expand that technique into adult novels? With a central focus on discrimination against women in the workplace, it’s an excellent way to discuss an important and often heated topic in a thoughtful, intelligent, and professional way.

Additionally, the information about influence, leadership, collaboration, and personal development is clearly explained, as using the characters, there are plenty of examples to help understand the concepts. I definitely took many notes and highlighted many passages (and diagrams!) that I would like to incorporate in my own personal development tool box.

I especially was interested in the definitions of influence or influencer. Though Emily and David were discussing the terms in the corporate world, I kept thinking about how it could apply to social media influencers and bloggers. It may seem like different veins, but as outlined, there’s three types of influence: control, collaboration, and concern. If I was to consider myself as a social media influencer and a blogger (which I do, as I do want to influence people on what books to read and buy), then the first type of influence I have is control over what content I put out to my audience (you, my fellow readers), the second in collaboration with publishers and fellow influencers (those who want to promote specific books), and the third area is concern over if my reviews will actually interest and influence you enough to check out those reads. (Now that I think about it even more, if this is something you would like me to further discuss and share, let me know in a comment below, as I would definitely like to dig deeper into the concepts.)

Overall, Price and Ennis have impressed me with this book, their writing, their discussion, and the overall plot, and I really enjoyed being a part of Emily and David’s chats. I can easily see myself recommending Growing Influence to many of my friends, and I’d love to get a personal physical copy to mark up and reference as well! If you’re looking for great advice on workplace discrimination and company leadership in a palatable read, this would be a great go-to.

Published on September 18, 2018