Growing Influence Without Authority

  • Allan Cohen & Dan Levin
  • Babson College & Box

Focus: Insight + Innovation, Storytelling + Experience, Learning + Engagement, Amplify

The ability to influence people who are not under your authority is becoming ever more valuable. Organizations are flattening, and outside contractors are taking on larger roles than ever before. Getting results now means lateral cooperation, often across borders, time zones, departments, and organizations.

We spent an evening with Distinguished Professor of Global Leadership Allan Cohen and Box Board Member (and former COO) Dan Levin discussing concepts and practice of influence without explicit authority – how to get what you need from people you don’t control, on a personal, team and organizational level.

Professor Allan Cohen shared research insights from the recently released 3rd edition of his book Influence Without Authority, and Dan Levin reflected on his experience at Box navigating growth and fostering collaboration in a world of rapidly changing workplaces.


Allan Cohen is a leadership and management consultant, distinguished professor in global leadership at Babson College, and author of numerous books including Influence Without Authority, which just released its 3rd edition. He’s devoted his career to increasing the leadership and management skills of practicing and aspiring managers and to building innovative academic organizations.

Dan Levin is the former COO and a current Board Member at Box. During his tenure as COO, Box grew exponentially — increasing revenue 50x and headcount from 50 to 1,700 – and went public on the NYSE. Dan says the concept of influence without explicit authority lies at the heart of the success of Box, enabling teams to thrive in an increasingly complex world of more partners, more customers, more departments, and more products.


THRIVE is a series that explores how founders, leaders and changemakers innovate, grow and navigate an age of constant disruptive change, presented in partnership by Free Range and Babson College.