The Impact Equation Book Review

I really like Chris and Julien, but I wasn’t a huge fan of Trust Agents. In their defense, I probably wasn’t their target audience.

But because of that, I was fearful that I wouldn’t enjoy The Impact Equation.

It was significantly better and much more actionable than their previous installment.

The book aims to provide a formula to get your ideas heard and to ensure you’re taking action to increase the influence of your presence, your work and your relationships.

The equation looks like this: IMPACT = C x (R+E+A+T+E) where each letters represents a lever you need to pull (at varying levels) depending on what you want to convey and the audience you want to reach.

What makes this valuable is that Chris and Julien have a deep understanding of how the business landscape has shifted because of the Internet. They know, as well as anyone, how tough it is to be heard with all the noise, but also how fast an idea can spread in today’s world.

I especially appreciate the fact that they focused on humans and over-arching strategies rather than getting lost in the tools and tactics that so many other digital/social professionals get wrapped up in. Also, despite the fact that their core audience is social media marketers and/or entrepreneurs with blogs, I thought there was a lot of good stuff for cubicle dwellers as well (as you’ll see in the antidotes below).

Here’s a few of my favorite excerpts from the book:

On thinking of yourself as an owner, rather than an employee:
Owners, for example, search out opportunities, while employees wait for opportunities to come to them. Owners create their own job titles by creating their own jobs, while employees wait for job openings to exist before they rise—which is a form of asking for permission.

On standing out:
Realize that in life and business, it’s always what stands out that gets remembered. (Seth Godin’s Icarus Deccption expands on this notion).

On being an actors vs. a spectator:
One of the first and most important dividers determining whether or not your ideas will have impact is whether they are the ideas of an actor (a participant) or a spectator.

Be at the elbow of every deal.

On signal vs. noise:
Be honest. There’s so much going on that you’re even losing track of the people who matter most to you. You’re skipping half the newsletters you subscribe to. You’re not keeping up with e-mail. And yet at the same time you feel this hunger to consume information and learn more, for fear of being left behind or in hopes of finding the next big thing.

You’re not alone. Everyone we know is experiencing the same set of issues, and that includes your target audience. What can you do about it? How do you rise above the noise?

On audience vs. community:
Never mistake an audience for a community. Your community is those people who work to maintain an ongoing interaction with you.

Some goals/advice for traditional employees:
More money in the bank equates to more pivots.

Use goals as guideposts. Look at the bigger picture to drive tactical daily changes.

If you’re an employee at the mercy of others, maybe this means understanding how to prioritize, or maybe it means some internal campaigning to understand what you can convince the leadership you might drop.

On shitty advertising:
There’s nothing wrong with advertisements, but would you tune in to a TV station that talked all about one company or one person or one product all day long?

Advertising means borrowing audience attention and diverting it toward what you’re trying to sell. Whether in newspapers, television, or banner ads, traditional advertising usually distracts people from their interest and toward something else.

 You can check out other business book reviews here.

  • I was a fan of Trust Agents but at that time my target was finding information on what Julien and Chris spoke about. 

    Years later after being able to meet both authors I really got a lot of value from this book. Even more than Trust Agents. 

    I think the biggest obstacle is getting people to think like owners. Once that is accomplished the rest is obtainable. 

    Great write up!