May 9, 2021

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

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” is released on May 11, 2021. Which follows his hugely successful first book: “The 2 AM Principle: Discover the Science of Adventure 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

The 2 AM Principle: Discover the Science of Adventure  


Jon Levy 

Peter Cullen (voice of Optimus Prime) 

James T. Kirk 

Jean-Luc Picard 

Neil deGrasse Tyson 



Sir Richard Branson 

Stephen Hawking 


Mark Zuckerberg 

Nicholas Christakis 

James H. Fowler 

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

Christakis and Fowler (2007) 

Nike Run Club 

Bill Nye the Science Guy 


The Daily Show 

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

SNVTA - Ventral tegmental area of the brain 


Bill Gates 

Angela Merkel 


My Octopus Teacher 

United States Navy SEAL selection and training 

The IKEA Effect,of%20furniture%20that%20require%20assembly

Common Biases & Heuristics 

Brené Brown 

 Adam Grant 

Behavioral Grooves Patreon

Musical Links 

Bridgerton Soundtrack 

Vitamin String Quartet “Thank u, next” (Ariana Grande) 

John Williams “The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back” 

Tribe Called Quest “Electric Relaxation“ 

Biggie Smalls (The Notorious B.I.G.) “Big Poppa” 

Maroon Five “Sugar” 

98 Degrees “I Do (Cherish You)” 

Cowboy Junkies “Sweet Jane” 

The Tragically Hip “Ahead by a Century” 


(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

Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy

Dessa: The Attention Shepherd On The Curious Act Of Being Deeply Human (Episode 208) 

Mapping the Influence of Corporate Cultures – Silke Brittain (Episode 12)

Robert Cialdini, PhD: Littering, Egoism and Aretha Franklin (Episode 50)

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