'A remarkably insightful read on what power is, how it's gained and lost, and how it can be used for good. The masterful analysis by two leading experts will make you rethink some of your most basic assumptions about influence' Adam Grant
Power isn't just for the few at the top; it is potentially for everyone. You have power - and the power to use it.
Power is one of the most misunderstood - and therefore vilified - concepts in our society. Most people assume power is predetermined by personality or wealth, or that it's gained by strong-arming others. Many write it off as inherently corrupt or 'dirty' and want nothing to do with it. But as pioneering researchers Julie Battilana and Tiziana Casciaro deftly show in Power, for All, power is the ability to influence someone else's behaviour. This influence is derived from having access to valued resources, which anyone can have, regardless of their income or status in life. Everyone has a resource to offer, so everyone has access to power.
Battilana and Casciaro offer a timely, democratised vision of power. While hierarchies tend to stay in place because power is often sticky, by agitating, innovating and orchestrating change, they show how those with less power can challenge established structures to make them more balanced. They teach readers how to power-map their workplace to find who can create real change at work, plan for and cause sustaining power shifts, and understand the five motivations for seeking power - money and status, but also autonomy, achievement, affiliation and morality. They explore how these dynamics play out through vivid storytelling: as Donatella Versace successfully leads her brother's company after his death - despite having a title, but little influence; what social movements can learn from youth climate activists and how they can go farther; and how a manager can gain the trust of sceptical employees and improve the workplace. Ultimately, Power, for All demystifies the essential mechanisms for acquiring and using power for all people.
Concentrated, accessible, and life-changing, Power, for All is the definitive guide to understanding and navigating power in our relationships, organisations and society.
Power isn't just the purview of the wealthy and influential anyone can learn to own and wield it, argue Harvard Business School professor Battilana and University of Toronto professor Casciaro in their impassioned if vague debut. They present three myths that prevent people from obtaining power (here defined as "the ability to influence others' behavior"): that it can only be achieved through innate traits, that it's reserved for the prominent, and that it's morally questionable. Through 100 interviews with people who had "intriguing and diverse paths to and through power," the authors explore how people can grasp power both individual and systemic. They speak with Lia Grimanis, who runs a nonprofit that helps homeless women, Polish Holocaust survivor Miriam Rykles, and activists in the Occupy and Black Lives matter movements to describe a new kind of power that's "networked, informal, collaborative, transparent, and participatory." Readers are encouraged to make their own "power map" of networks and develop a mindset that includes empathy and humility. But while the authors ask worthy questions, their concept of "power" winds up being so nebulous that it's hard to find an entry point into their argument. While the "power is for all of us" angle has potential, this one doesn't quite satisfy.