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Interview Questions:

 

  • Why is upward influence different from other types of influence?
  • You talk about “yaktivists” and “blunderdogs” – who are they and what differentiates them from the underdogs you interviewed for the book?
  • You claim that powerful people have an innate psychological need to help the “little guy.” Why?
  • You say that being an underdog is an advantage, even in the marketplace with certain consumer product positioning. Why?
  • If being an underdog is an advantage, why don’t all underdogs get what they want?
  • You say that one of the reasons people like Oprah Winfrey and Steve Jobs are appealing is due to their underdog positioning. What underdog qualities do they possess?
  • What is underdog “street cred?” How can someone obtain it?
  • What surprising things did you find out about the use of social media tools to change powerful people’s minds?
  • The powerful people you interviewed whose minds were changed all cited one behavior that is most likely to doom an underdog’s chance to persuade them. What was it?
  • What one character quality did all of your successful underdogs exhibit when persuading up the food chain?
  • What do you mean when you say that high-achiever underdogs keep their “eyes up?”
  • You found that successful underdogs built a pack, (or a coalition, or team) and that there were three clear characteristics of influential pack members. What are they?
  • Many underdogs you profiled built relationships with their top dogs before asking for anything. You state that building relationships with powerful people isn’t the same as how it’s done with peers. What are a few keys to building relationships up the food chain?
  • How does “being nice” factor into changing a powerful person’s mind?
  • Some researchers are now recommending that “ugly people” in the workplace be eligible for affirmative action. How can “ugly people” instead get a leg up in the workplace by using underdog tactics?