📚 Power by Jeffrey Pfeffer

Author: Jeffrey Pfeffer
Full Title: Power | Why some people have it, and others don’t
Amazon Link
Finished Date: February 2022

Rating: 3 stars

There are some meaningful and thought provoking comments in this book, but generally I found it plays up power-mongering tropes with a semi-useful conceptual framework. I read this book as part of the class titled Paths to Power with the author as professor, and I found this content and book resonated much more with historically underestimated groups (women, minorities, LGBTQ+, etc). As a privileged white man, most of this was either natural or intuitive to me.

The biggest thing I got from the class, not the book, was the encouragement to rev harder on certain dimensions. Not life changing, but compelling.

Overall, I found both the book and the class to be underwhelming with regards to:

  • Understanding the "why" of seeking power before reaching for it (and the consequences of what happens when people don't have a clear why)
  • The intellectual integrity of minimizing biases (especially confirmation and attribution). Specifically, are there people who use these practices that don't succeed? What causes their failure? Or are there people who don't use these practices and do succeed? What causes their success? Is it these principles or something else that is more nuanced?
  • The claim of backing in social science. Of the ~270 citations, ~100 were related to a peer-reviewed journal and ~36 were more than 20 years old at the time of publishing. Only 5 of those studies had Pfeffer's name on the research. Despite his continuing to publish, a lot of the content in this book read either like a truism or dated. Perhaps this was written for a different generation and has not aged well.

Overarching Notes:

Approach the concept of power without judgement - study the greats even if you don't like them or want to be their friends. Their techniques have value in your pursuit of power.

Power is a skill that can be practiced and developed over time with mindful attention. This boils down to:

  • Will
  • >Ambition
  • >Energy
  • >Focus
  • Skill
  • >Self-knowledge & a reflective mind-set
  • >Confidence and the ability to project self-assurance
  • >Empathy and the ability to read others
  • >Tolerance of conflict

Beware of the "just world hypothesis" as that becomes a limiting belief

Cultivate the skill to map the power landscape. In organizations, signals include

  • Relative pay
  • Physical location and facilities (?? how does that relate to a digital / remote / hybrid world ??)
  • Positions on committees and management roles

^^Power accrues to people who control resources that others cannot access.^^

  • Develop and share resources (sometimes out of thin air) to begin accumulating power. Could be studies, small tasks, talks, summits, etc

Network. Strategically and often.

  • 1. Building internal contacts (e.g., “I use company events to make new contacts.”)
  • 2. Maintaining internal contacts (e.g., “I catch up with colleagues from other departments about what they are working on.”)
  • 3. Using internal contacts (e.g., “I use my contacts with colleagues in other departments in order to get confidential advice in business matters.”)
  • 4. Building external contacts (e.g., “I accept invitations to official functions or festivities out of professional interest.”)
  • 5. Maintaining external contacts (e.g., “I ask others to give my regards to business acquaintances outside of our company.”)
  • 6. Using external contacts (e.g., “I exchange professional tips and hints with acquaintances from other organizations.”)
  • Balance small, tight networks for tacit knowledge vs. larger, broader networks for explicit knowledge

Cultivate a powerful presence with physicality

  • Stand straight, with chest and pelvis forward
  • Short and forceful gestures appear forceful; circular or waving gestures appear softer
  • Look people directly in the eyes

Cultivate a powerful presence with words

  • "Language that influences is able to create powerful images and emotions that overwhelm reason. Such language is evocative, specific, and filled with strong language and visual imagery."
  • "persuasive language that produces support for you and your ideas is language that promotes identification and affiliation."
  • "Use a list of three items, or enumerations in general. “One of the main attractions of three-part lists is that they have an air of unity and completeness about them.”29 Lists make a speaker appear as if he or she has thought about the issue and the alternatives and considered all sides thoroughly."
  • "Use contrastive pairs, comparing one thing to another and using passages that are similar in length and grammatical structure."

3 faces of power

  • 1) Ability to win in direct contests - Whose point of view prevails?
  • 2) Who sets the agenda, and in the process determines whether a specific issue will even be discussed or debated at all?
  • 3) Who determines the rules for interpersonal interactions through which agendas and outcomes are determined?
  • ** very important for DEI considerations

Build a reputation of power

  • Make a good impression early
  • Carefully curate the image you want
  • Use media to build visibility
  • Have others sing your praises
  • Selectively disclose negative information + weaknesses

Be graceful with people you're kicking out to centralize power

Make important relationships work - you don't need to want someone over for dinner to be able to respect and work with them

The costs of power

  • Visibility and public scrutiny
  • Loss of autonomy
  • Time and effort required
  • Not knowing who to trust
  • Power is addictive

"If you feel powerful, you will act and project power and others will respond accordingly. If you feel powerless, your behavior will be similarly self-confirming."

  • Part of why dressing the part is so important

Favorite Quotes

Quotes from others

  • "Obviously, people are born with specific talents…. But I don’t like using genetics as an excuse…. Get over yourself. The best creativity is the result of habit and hard work." -Twyla Thwarp, legendary dancer and choreographer
  • "Authority is 20 percent given, 80 percent taken." -Peter Ueberroth, manager of 1984 Olympics & Time Man of the Year
  • “Don’t be so humble; you’re not that great.” -Golda Meir, Israeli Prime Minister
  • "You can have power or autonomy, but not both." -James March, organizational scholar and political scientist
  • “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt, US first lady
  • "Emphasize processes by which decisions are made - data and analytics - and put almost no emphasis on who is making the decision." -Gary Loveman, former Harvard professor and super successful CEO of Harrah's Entertainment and healthcare companies

Quotes from the book

  • Those who admit ignorance are more likely to improve.
  • Power accrues to people who control resources that others cannot access.
  • Language that influences is able to create powerful images and emotions that overwhelm reason. ... Persuasive language that produces support for you and your ideas is language that promotes identification and affiliation.
  • The effects of power on the power holder consistently find that power produces overconfidence and risk taking, insensitivity to others, stereotyping, and a tendency to see other people as a means to the power holder’s gratification.
  • If you feel powerful, you will act and project power and others will respond accordingly. If you feel powerless, your behavior will be similarly self-confirming.

Further areas [[To Research]]

University of Texas Psychologist William Ickes on [[AOI/Empathy]] [[UTT/Relation/Human]]

New York University social psychologist John Jost on power dynamics and disempowerment [[UTT/Relation/Human]]

  • Jost’s research shows that people will voluntarily contribute to their own disempowerment to maintain a stable hierarchical social order. In a series of studies, Jost found that lower-power groups often developed attitudes that justified their own inferior (and others’ more favored) position, thereby contributing to the persistence of hierarchical arrangements that disadvantaged them. (Location 3300)

Keltner, Gruenfeld, and Anderson, “Power, Approach, and Inhibition.” There are numerous studies of a similar form showing how power leads to less inhibition in behavior. See, for instance, Cameron Anderson and Jennifer L. Berdahl, “The Experience of Power: Examining the Effects of Power on Approach and Inhibition Tendencies,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 83 (2002): 1362–1377. [[UTT/Relation/Human]]

Book Highlights

evidence showed that this third group, the managers primarily interested in power, were the most effective, not only in achieving positions of influence inside companies but also in accomplishing their jobs.1 (Location 110)

First of all, having power is related to living a longer and healthier life. (Location 130)

Not being able to control one’s environment produces feelings of helplessness and stress,4 and feeling stressed or “out of control” can harm your health. So being in a position with low power and status is indeed hazardous to your health, and conversely, having power and the control that comes with it prolongs life.5 (Location 139)

Second, power, and the visibility and stature that accompany power, can produce wealth. (Location 143)

Third, power is part of leadership and is necessary to get things done—whether those things entail changing the U.S. health-care system, transforming organizations so they are more humane places to work, or affecting dimensions of social policy and human welfare. (Location 150)

David McClelland wrote about a need for power. Although the strength of that power motive obviously varies across individuals, along with a need for achievement, McClelland considered power seeking a fundamental human drive, found in people from many cultures. (Location 156)

conclusion that the victim must have been a bad person.”13 This latter effect creates the frequently observed phenomenon of “blaming the victim,” in which people find things that justify the bad events that happen to targets of crimes or corporate misfortunes. (Location 194)

the road to the top may require different behavior than being successful once you have arrived. (Location 220)

So don’t automatically buy into advice from leaders. It could be accurate, but more likely it is just self-serving. (Location 237)

There is an immense research literature about this phenomenon—called “self-handicapping.”19 The logic is deceptively simple. People desire to feel good about themselves and their abilities. Obviously, any experience of failure puts their self-esteem at risk. However, if people intentionally choose to do things that could plausibly (Location 250)

diminish their performance, then any subsequent performance decrements can be explained away as not reflecting their innate abilities. So, for instance, told that a test is highly diagnostic of their intellectual ability, some people will choose to not practice or study the relevant material, thereby decreasing their performance but also providing an excuse for poor performance that doesn’t implicate their natural ability. (Location 253)

So get over yourself and get beyond your concerns with self-image or, for that matter, the perception others have of you. (Location 268)

The Personal Qualities That Bring Influence (Location 566)

After working as an agent for the William Morris Agency, Meyer and some friends founded the Creative Artists Agency, a position that helped establish him as a power broker in Hollywood. (Location 572)

First, you must come to believe that personal change is possible; otherwise, you won’t even try to develop the attributes that bring power (Location 575)

Second, you need to see yourself and your strengths and weaknesses as objectively as possible. (Location 578)

And third, you need to understand the most important qualities for building a power base so you can focus your inevitably limited time and attention on developing those. (Location 580)

Over time, Brown developed more patience and empathy with others and honed his ability to forge interpersonal relationships. (Location 586)

Choreographer Twyla Tharp, (Location 601)

^^**Obviously, people are born with specific talents…. But I don’t like using genetics as an excuse…. Get over yourself. The best creativity is the result of habit and hard work.**^^ (Location 603) [[Quote Collection]]

Marshall Goldsmith recognized the challenge of overcoming defensiveness about our abilities and behaviors in his best-selling book based on his many years of work as an executive coach. (Location 620)

instead of giving people feedback about what they have done right and wrong in the past, he focuses on “feedforward,” which emphasizes what people need to do to get ready for the subsequent positions and career challenges they will confront. (Location 626)

“Creativity Step by Step: A Conversation with Choreographer Twyla Tharp,” Harvard Business Review (Location 4611)

focusing on what you need to change to accomplish future personal goals can be much more uplifting than going back and reviewing past setbacks or considering areas of weakness. (Location 629)

Grade yourself on a scale of 1 (“I don’t have this quality at all”) to 5 (“I have a lot of this quality and can readily use it”) on each of the attributes. Better yet, have others grade you as well. (Location 633)

develop a specific action plan for building those qualities where you scored the lowest. Regularly review your progress, and make sure you are continuing to develop those personal qualities that help build power. (Location 635)

Even if you are willing to do the emotionally tough work of being clinically objective about your strengths and weaknesses, you may not have the requisite expertise to know how or what to improve. (Location 638)

In most instances, the reason the person is having a particular problem is evident in how the request is made: no attempt to provide any sort of evidence of similarity or social connection; no understanding of the other’s perspective as the recipient of such a request; no explanation as to how I, as the target, was selected. (Location 644)

Cornell social psychologists Justin Kruger and David Dunning did pathbreaking research about a decade ago showing that people without the requisite knowledge to perform a task successfully also lacked the information and understanding (Location 650)

required to know they were deficient, and in what ways. (Location 652)

^^**those who admit ignorance are more likely to improve**^^—in all domains, including understanding power dynamics inside companies—than those who either don’t know their deficiencies or are afraid to admit them to others. (Location 658)

identify what personal skills and qualities produce power and then work to develop them. (Location 663)

two fundamental personal dimensions and seven qualities that are both logically and empirically associated with producing personal power. (Location 670)

^^**The two fundamental dimensions that distinguish people who rise to great heights and accomplish amazing things are will, the drive to take on big challenges, and skill, the capabilities required to turn ambition into accomplishment.**^^ (Location 672)

The three personal qualities embodied in will are ambition, energy, and focus. (Location 673)

The four skills (Location 674)

useful in acquiring power are self-knowledge and a reflective mind-set, confidence and the ability to project self-assurance, the ability to read others and empathize with their point of view, and a capacity to tolerate conflict. (Location 674)

Ambition (Location 677)

Success requires effort and hard work as well as persistence. To expend that effort, to make necessary sacrifices, requires some driving ambition. (Location 678)

Organizational life can be irritating and frustrating and can divert people’s effort and attention. Ambition—a focus on achieving influence—can help people overcome the temptation to give up or to give in to the irritations. (Location 689)

Energy (Location 695)

Laura Esserman, (Location 696)

As she once said to me, “You don’t change the world by first taking a nap.” (Location 698)

That’s because energy does three things that help build influence. First, energy, like many emotional states such as anger or happiness, is contagious. (Location 704)

Your hard work signals that the job is important; people pick up on that signal, or its opposite. And people are more willing to expend effort if you are, too. (Location 708)

Second, energy and the long hours it permits provide an advantage in getting things accomplished. Research on genius or talent—exceptional accomplishment achieved in a wide range of fields—consistently finds that “laborious preparation” plays an important role. (Location 710)

Obviously, having the energy that permits you to put in long hours of hard work helps you to master subject matter more quickly. (Location 715)

Third, people often promote those with energy because of the importance of being able to work hard and also because expending great energy signals a high degree of organizational commitment and, presumably, loyalty. (Location 716)

And you are more likely to have energy if you are committed to what you are doing, so in that sense, energy goes along with ambition. (Location 724)

Focus (Location 726)

There are several dimensions to focus. One is specialization in a particular industry or company, providing depth of understanding and a more substantial web of focused relationships. (Location 729)

A second dimension of focus is concentration on a limited set of activities or functional skills. (Location 742)

A third aspect to focus is to concentrate on those activities within your particular job or position that are the most critical—that have the most impact on getting work done and on others’ perceptions of you and your effectiveness. (Location 745)

People are often unwilling or unable to commit themselves to a specific company, industry, or job function. Particularly talented people often have many interests and many opportunities and can’t choose among them. (Location 751)

Self-Knowledge (Location 755)

After every significant meeting or interaction, he would make notes in a small notebook. He would write down what had gone well and what hadn’t, what people had said and done, and the outcome of the meeting. That notebook captured his thoughts about what had transpired so that he could make future interactions more effective; and the discipline of writing fostered reflection and also imprinted the insights more forcefully into his consciousness. (Location 761)

Dr. Modesto “Mitch” Maidique, (Location 765)

making notes about decisions, meetings, and other interactions and reflecting on what he had done well or poorly so that he could improve his skills. (Location 768)

Confidence (Location 773)

When I later asked her about her changed demeanor, Dr. Conley replied that there is some placebo effect as well as an effect of attitude and spirit on the course of disease; therefore, she did not want the patient to give up or become depressed. (Location 779)

Consequently, you need to seize control of the situation. In making decisions about how much power and deference to accord others, people are naturally going to look to the other’s behavior for cues. (Location 784)

Because power is likely to cause people to behave in a more confident fashion, observers will associate confident behavior with actually having power. Coming across as confident and knowledgeable helps you build influence. (Location 785)

Showing confidence seems often to be a particular issue for women, who are socialized to be deferential and less assertive. But that behavior causes problems. Research by social psychologist Brenda Major shows that women work longer and harder for the same amount of money, award themselves lower salaries, and have lower career-entry and peak-earnings expectations than men.18 (Location 796)

Empathy with Others (Location 804)

^^**University of Texas psychologist William Ickes**^^ has studied empathic understanding. (Location 811)

Empathetically accurate perceivers are those who are consistently good at “reading” other people’s thoughts and feelings. All else being equal, they are likely to be the most tactful advisors, the most diplomatic officials, the most effective negotiators, the most electable politicians, the most productive salespersons, the most successful teachers, and the most insightful therapists. (Location 812)

far from diverting you from accomplishing your objectives, putting yourself in the other’s place is one of the best ways to advance your own agenda. (Location 828)

Capacity to Tolerate Conflict (Location 830)

If you can handle difficult conflict-and stress-filled situations effectively, you have an advantage over most people. (Location 835)

INTELLIGENCE (Location 855)

A meta-analysis—a statistical summary of existing research—examining 85 data sets from a variety of countries concluded that the correlation between intelligence and income was .2, and although this was statistically (Location 864)

significant, it meant that only about 4 percent of the variation in income was explained by variation in intelligence. (Location 865)

That’s because academic performance is a weak predictor of career success measures such as income. (Location 869)

People who are exceptionally smart think they can (Location 878)

do everything on their own and do it better than everyone else. (Location 878)

intelligence can be intimidating. And although intimidation can work for a while, it is not a strategy that brings much enduring loyalty. (Location 883)

We intuitively know that not all career platforms are equal in value as a path to power, and research supports that intuition. But people often err in choosing where to start building their power base. The most common mistake is to locate in the department dealing with the organization’s current core activity, skill, or product—the unit that is the most powerful at the moment. This turns out to not always be a good idea because the organization’s most central work is where you are going to encounter the most talented competition and also the most well-established career paths and processes. (Location 918)

So if you want to move up quickly, go to underexploited niches where you can develop leverage with less resistance and build a power base in activities that are going to be more important in the near future than they are today. (Location 923)

Yusuf built a department that had its hand in almost every high-level decision that required data collection and analysis—issues such as how to redo the human resources department, pricing questions, and organizational structure and design choices. The department, called the corporate consulting team (CCT), became the point of contact for managing any outside consultants SAP used. (Location 953)

analytical orientation and the numbers the group produced provided at least the appearance of rationality and certainty to a troubled company. (Location 983)

Finance moved talented people into other areas of the company to extend its influence and came to control the agendas and the flow of information throughout the company. (Location 993)

one source of departmental power—unit cohesion. At Ford’s finance function, there were socialization rituals—running the overhead projector at meetings, preparing briefing books, gathering articles and information (Location 1002)

building common bonds of communication and trust that come through shared experiences. (Location 1004)

Speaking with one voice, being able to act together in a coordinated fashion, is an important source of departmental power and effectiveness.9 That’s why the military evaluates leaders in part on the cohesion of their units and why coaches of team sports work so hard to build unity of action and purpose. Another source of departmental power is the ability to provide critical resources, such as money or skills, or the ability to solve critical organizational problems, both topics the subject of literally decades of research.10 Naturally, as competitive exigencies change, creating different pressing issues and changing the sources of money, so, too, does the locus of power. (Location 1005)

It is always useful to be able to diagnose the political landscape, whether for plotting your next career move or for understanding who you need to influence to get something done. (Location 1045)

Carnegie-Mellon professor David Krackhardt’s analysis of power in a small entrepreneurial company found that the people within the firm with the most accurate perception of the power distribution and networks of influence had more power.14 Skill at diagnosing power distributions is useful. (Location 1048)

Over the years, I have found the following to be reasonably good clues to which departments have the most power. (Location 1054)

RELATIVE PAY (Location 1055)

Both starting salaries and the pay of more senior positions in departments connote relative power. (Location 1056)

PHYSICAL LOCATION AND FACILITIES (Location 1064)

Being physically close to those in power both signals power and provides power through increased access. (Location 1065)

The importance of office location leads to an often-expensive shifting and redoing of offices as political fortunes wax and wane. (Location 1069)

POSITIONS—ON COMMITTEES AND IN SENIOR MANAGEMENT (Location 1078)

In many instances, particularly as boards have replaced insiders with outsiders, finance is the only internal management function represented on the board. That signals its relative power. (Location 1080)

So, too, does the background of the senior-level team, particularly the CEO and the COO. (Location 1082)

And it is not just positions, but also the composition of powerful committees—such as the executive committee—that can tell you the power of various departments. Paying attention to what departments are represented in powerful positions provides an important clue as to where the power lies. (Location 1088)

THE TRADE-OFF: A STRONG POWER BASE VERSUS LESS COMPETITION (Location 1090)

This type of trade-off—pioneering a new path and the risk that entails versus entering an established domain but facing greater competition—occurs at the business level as well. (Location 1100)

But if you want to break out of the pack, other things being equal, you would be better off in a different department with more new opportunity. (Location 1118)

And that forecasting skill is possible, although not assured or easy, by paying attention to the unfolding dynamics of the particular business and its environment. (Location 1122)

having resources is an important source of power only if you use those resources strategically to help others whose support you need, in the process gaining their favor. (Location 1403)

What’s true in government and community power is just as true for understanding power dynamics inside profit and nonprofit organizations—the people and the subunits that control resources possess an important source of power, as I briefly discussed in chapter 3. (Location 1411)

Resources are great because once you have them, maintaining power becomes a self-reinforcing process. (Location 1424)

most talented people want to work with those with the most power and resources, so those with access to important resources have advantages in hiring precisely the sorts of smart, hard-working individuals who can further their success. It’s an old but accurate and important story: power and resources beget more power and resources. Your task is to figure out how to break into the circle. (Location 1431)

The second straightforward implication is that your power comes in large measure from the position you hold and the resources and other things you control as a consequence of holding that position. (Location 1447)

^^**A resource is anything people want or need—money, a job, information, social support and friendship, help in doing their job.**^^ (Location 1471)

Instead, helping others generates a more generalized obligation to return the favor, and as a consequence, doing even small things can produce a comparatively large payoff. (Location 1475)

Small things can matter a lot—attending birthday parties, funerals, going to lunch with people whose help you want, visiting them or their family members when they are ill. (Location 1485)

Taking on small tasks can provide you with power because people are often lazy or uninterested in seemingly small, unimportant activities. Therefore, if you take the initiative to do a relatively minor task and do it extremely well, it’s unlikely that anyone is going to challenge you for the opportunity. Meanwhile, these apparently minor tasks can become important sources of power. (Location 1510)

She organized summits and invited important outside companies that her firm’s businesses wanted to get to know to come and make presentations. She also invited prominent outside people who would be of interest to managers throughout the company. Through these activities, (Location 1534)

she got to know many outside businesses and the people in them. (Location 1536)

In his leadership roles, he met companies selling pension and other human resource products to colleges and universities, invited people whose support he wanted to speak at the meetings (and paid them), and met scores of senior people in academic administration. Eventually he did become provost and is currently a system-wide vice president of research at a large state university. His path to a college presidency now seems assured because he understood how to find and use resources. (Location 1547)

he prevailed upon the partners who ran the office to give him a budget to invite people of interest who could help the firm build both contacts and connections in the public sector. Ivan was then in a position to use those resources to cultivate relationships with powerful outside people, who were both flattered to be invited to address such a prestigious firm and grateful for the payments they received. (Location 1553)

As a former managing director of the WEF commented, “Contacts ultimately mean contracts.” (Location 1584)

^^**Power accrues to people who control resources that others cannot access.**^^ (Location 1585)

Bringing people together entails your taking on a brokerage role and becoming central in social networks. Networking skills are important and the networks you create are an important resource for creating influence, as we will see in the next chapter. (Location 1593)

Roizen’s success was built on her intelligence and business competence combined with her ability to build strategic social relationships—to network—both inside and outside her employers. (Location 1604)

some jobs are mostly about networking and everyone can benefit from developing more efficient and effective social networks and honing networking skills. (Location 1612)

Two German professors, Hans-Georg Wolff and Klaus Moser, offer a good definition of networking: “Behaviors that are aimed at building, maintaining, and using informal relationships that possess the (potential) benefit of facilitating work-related activities of individuals by voluntarily gaining access to resources and maximizing…advantages.” (Location 1615)

1. Building internal contacts (e.g., “I use company events to make new contacts.”) 2. Maintaining internal contacts (e.g., “I catch up with colleagues from other departments about what they are working on.”) 3. Using internal contacts (e.g., “I use my contacts with colleagues in other departments in order to get confidential advice in business matters.”) 4. Building external contacts (e.g., “I accept invitations to official functions or festivities out of professional interest.”) 5. Maintaining external contacts (e.g., “I ask others to give my regards to business acquaintances outside of our company.”) 6. Using external contacts (e.g., “I exchange professional tips and hints with acquaintances from other organizations.”) (Location 1620)

general, jobs high in networking content require bridging separate organizations, brokering deals, and relationship building to influence decision making. (Location 1638)

Inside companies, the job of project or product manager entails getting disparate groups to cooperate in making information technology projects work and in managing consumer products successfully. There are many leadership tasks where the essence of the work is bringing people and organizational units with different competencies and perspectives together to complete a task or consummate a transaction. (Location 1650)

Many studies show that networking is positively related to obtaining good performance evaluations, objective measures of career success such as salary and organizational level, and subjective attitudes assessing career satisfaction. (Location 1657)

Networking affected career satisfaction, concurrent salary, and salary growth over time, with the two most important networking behaviors being “maintaining external contacts” and “building internal contacts.”5 (Location 1663)

Networking brings you into contact with more people and keeps you in contact with them, thereby increasing the chances that when they need advice, want to find an investment partner, or are thinking of a candidate for some position, they will remember you. Thus, effective networking creates a virtuous cycle. Networking makes you more visible; this visibility increases your power and status; and your heightened power and status then make building and maintaining social contacts easier. (Location 1675)

See, for example, M. L. Forret and T. W. Dougherty, “Networking Behaviors and Career Outcomes: Differences for Men and Women?” Journal of Organizational Behavior 25 (2004): 419–437; P. H. Langford, “Importance of Relationship Management for the Career Success of Australian Managers,” Australian Journal of Psychology 52 (2000): 163–168. 5. (Location 4811)

Because networking does entail some effort, you ought to be strategic about your networking activities. Make a list of people you want or need to meet and organizations where some personal connection might be helpful. (Location 1724)

Weak ties, by contrast, are more likely to link you to new people, organizations, and information, providing new information and contacts. For weak ties to be useful, however, two things must be true: casual acquaintances must be able to link you into diverse networks and they must be willing to do so. (Location 1751)

an optimal networking strategy is to know a lot of different people from different circles, have multiple organizational affiliations in a variety of different industries and sectors that are geographically dispersed, but not necessarily to know the people well or to develop close ties with them. (Location 1757)

One way to acquire status is to start an organization that is so compelling in its mission that high-status people join the project and you build both status and a network of important relationships. (Location 1773)

If virtually all information and communication flows through you, you will have more power. One source of your power will be your control over the flow of information, and another is that people attribute power to individuals who are central. You can assess your centrality by asking what proportion of others in your work, for instance, nominate you as someone they go to for advice or help with their own work. Another way of assessing centrality is to ask what proportion of all communication links flow through you. (Location 1799)

Centrality provides power within a network, but it is also important to have power through connections across diverse networks. (Location 1816)

The fundamental idea is deceptively simple: by connecting units that are tightly linked internally but socially isolated from each other, the person doing the connecting can profit by being the intermediary who facilitates interactions between the two groups. (Location 1821)

People sometimes believe that if they are connected to someone else who occupies a good brokerage position, they can achieve almost as much benefit. However, Ron Burt found that this intuition was not accurate. (Location 1839)

^^**University of California–Berkeley professor Morten Hansen has studied what types of social networks are most useful given different types of product development efforts. When you need to access tacit knowledge, a smaller network of close ties is important because it takes close relationships to get people to spend the time to explain their tacit expertise. When the project requires locating explicit knowledge that can be readily transferred once you find it, a large network of weak ties provides greater benefit.**^^ (Location 1851)

Hansen and his colleagues found that a network rich in weak ties was most useful for doing new things because a large network of weak ties permitted product development teams to explore broadly for information that was helpful. In contrast, when the product development effort leveraged well-established existing competencies, a smaller network got the product out the door more quickly. (Location 1857)

Observers watching people who don’t deny or run away from their actions naturally presume that the perpetrators don’t feel guilty or ashamed, so maybe no one should be too upset. (Location 1883)

Her experience suggested that the secret of leadership was the ability to play a role, to pretend, to be skilled in the theatrical arts. (Location 1918)

Peter Ueberroth, Time magazine’s man of the year for his success running the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and former commissioner of major-league baseball, has a favorite maxim: ^^**Authority is 20 percent given, 80 percent taken**^^. [[Quote Collection]](Location 1944)

To look engaged in meetings and other interactions, to signal that you care about those around you, put away the BlackBerry, the laptop, the cell phone, and all the other technological gadgets that compete for your time and attention. (Location 1981)

Research shows that people who express anger are seen “as dominant, strong, competent, and smart,” although they are also, of course, seen as less nice and warm. (Location 2000)

People rated coworkers who expressed more anger as better potential role models—people from whom they could learn. (Location 2016)

  • Note: Confounding

As the former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir said, ^^**“Don’t be so humble; you’re not that great.”**^^19 (Location 2041) [[Quote Collection]]

There is evidence that taller people earn more and are more likely to occupy high power positions.20 There is also ample evidence that physical attractiveness results in higher earnings.21 (Location 2044)

Everyone can stand up straight rather than slouching, and can thrust their chest and pelvis forward rather than curling in on themselves. Moving forward and toward someone is a gesture that connotes power, as does standing closer to others, while turning your back or retreating signals the opposite. (Location 2053)

Moving your hands in a circle or waving your arms diminishes how powerful you appear. Gestures should be short and forceful, not long and circular. (Location 2056)

^^**Looking people directly in the eye connotes not only power but also honesty and directness, while looking down is a signal of diffidence.**^^ (Location 2057)

Settings can convey power and status. (Location 2073)

Those with power interrupt, those with less power get interrupted. (Location 2103)

In analyzing the Watergate hearings, sociologists Harvey Molotch and Deidre Boden note that there are ^^**three faces of power.**^^

  • The first is the ability to win in direct contests: Whose point of view prevails?
  • The second is more subtle: Who sets the agenda, and in the process determines whether a specific issue will even be discussed or debated at all?
  • And the third form of power is more subtle still: Who determines the rules for interpersonal interactions through which agendas and outcomes are determined? (Location 2112)

The questions and challenges focus attention on the person bringing the seemingly commonsense issues to the fore and causes people to have to renegotiate things that were always implicitly assumed. (Location 2130)

^^**Language that influences is able to create powerful images and emotions that overwhelm reason.24 Such language is evocative, specific, and filled with strong language and visual imagery.**^^ (Location 2133)

Churchill understood the power of language, having once commented, “Words are the only things that last forever.” (Location 2141)

^^**persuasive language that produces support for you and your ideas is language that promotes identification and affiliation.**^^ (Location 2151)

Words suggesting common bonds cause the audience to believe that you share their views. (Location 2153)

Pause for emphasis and invite approval or even applause through a slight delay. (Location 2162)

Use a list of three items, or enumerations in general. “One of the main attractions of three-part lists is that they have an air of unity and completeness about them.”29 Lists make a speaker appear as if he or she has thought about the issue and the alternatives and considered all sides thoroughly. (Location 2165)

Use contrastive pairs, comparing one thing to another and using passages that are similar in length and grammatical structure. (Location 2168)

Avoid using a script or notes. If you speak without aids, the implication is that you have a mastery of the subject and are spontaneous. (Location 2174)

use humor to the extent possible and appropriate. (Location 2182)

In an experimental study of the performance appraisals people received, those who were able to create a favorable impression received higher ratings than did people who actually performed better but did not do as good a job in managing the impressions they made on others.2 (Location 2213)

The fundamental principles for building the sort of reputation that will get you a high-power position are straightforward:

  • make a good impression early
  • carefully delineate the elements of the image you want to create
  • use the media to help build your visibility and burnish your image
  • have others sing your praises so you can surmount the self-promotion dilemma
  • and strategically put out enough negative but not fatally damaging information about yourself that the people who hire and support you fully understand any weaknesses and make the choice anyway. (Location 2232)

YOU GET ONLY ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION (Location 2237)

Social psychologists Nalini Ambady and Robert Rosenthal did a meta-analysis of the accuracy of predictions in many domains in clinical and social psychology. They found that short slices of behavior—less than five minutes—yielded accurate predictions, for instance, about assessments of people’s personality. Moreover, they found that predictions based on extremely small samples of behavior, less than half a minute, did not differ in their accuracy from impressions formed using longer, four-and five-minute snippets of behavior.6 In one empirical study using college teacher ratings as the outcome to be explained, Ambady and Rosenthal noted that ratings based on a silent video clip of the instructor lasting less than half a minute significantly predicted the course evaluations given by students at the end of the quarter. (Location 2247)

In a second study, again using an extremely short video clip, of high school teachers, ratings of these short silent videos significantly predicted the ratings given to the teachers by their principals.7 (Location 2254)

One process, attention decrement, argues that because of fatigue or boredom, people don’t pay as close attention to later information as they do to information that comes early, when they first form judgments. (Location 2259)

A second process entails cognitive discounting—once people have formed an impression of another, they disregard any information that is inconsistent with their initial ideas. (Location 2264)

Third, people engage in behavior that helps make their initial impressions of others come true. (Location 2268)

Interviewers built more rapport with candidates they thought they would like. (Location 2272)

And yet another process, biased assimilation, involves taking later information and reinterpreting it in ways consistent with our original beliefs and judgments.9 (Location 2276)

CAREFULLY CONSIDER AND CONSTRUCT YOUR IMAGE (Location 2301)

You need to think strategically about the dimensions or elements of the reputation you want to build and then conduct yourself accordingly. (Location 2302)

What is important is that you think carefully about the dimensions of the reputation you want to build, and then do everything in your power, from how you spend your time to what organizations and people you associate with, to ensure that is the image that you project. (Location 2328)

BUILD YOUR IMAGE IN THE MEDIA (Location 2330)

OVERCOME THE SELF-PROMOTION DILEMMA (Location 2400)

The dilemma is this: on the one hand, research shows that when people don’t advocate for themselves and claim competence, particularly in settings such as job interviews or pushing for a promotion when they would be expected to do so, others believe they must be either incompetent or unskilled in handling such situations, a perception that works to their disadvantage.21 On the other hand, self-promoting behavior, although expected in many instances, also creates difficulties. (Location 2401)

There is a solution to this dilemma: get others, even those you employ such as agents, public relations people, executive recruiters, and colleagues, to tout your abilities. (Location 2409)

don’t be cheap—hire people to represent and tout you. It can work to your advantage in several ways. (Location 2424)

THE UPSIDE OF SOME NEGATIVE INFORMATION (Location 2425)

Displaying some negative characteristics, as long as they aren’t so overwhelming as to preclude your selection, actually increases your power because those who support you notwithstanding your flaws will be even more committed to you and your success. (Location 2435)

As long as the quirks you display are irrelevant to the core of your reputation and why people select you—in the case of Summers, for his brilliance in the field of economics—the flaws and foibles can actually strengthen people’s commitment to you. (Location 2444)

REMEMBER: IMAGE CREATES REALITY (Location 2446)

Overcoming Opposition and Setbacks (Location 2457)

Rudy Crew has said, “Conflict is just an opportunity for another person’s education,” for exploring why people think the way they do, and for sharing perspectives so the parties to the conflict can learn about and from each other. (Location 2503) [[Quote Collection]]

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS AND LEAVE PEOPLE A GRACEFUL OUT (Location 2507)

Jack Brehm’s theory of psychological reactance holds that people rebel against constraints or efforts to control their behavior—force is met with countervailing force. (Location 2509)

one way to deal with opponents is to treat them well and leave them a graceful way to retreat. (Location 2513)

Helping opponents move to another organization where they won’t be in your way may not be the first thing you think about doing, but it ought to be high on the list. (Location 2528)

If you make it easy and pleasant for your opponents to depart, they will. (Location 2536)

DON’T CAUSE YOURSELF UNNECESSARY PROBLEMS (Location 2537)

You need to continually ask yourself, “What would victory look like? If you had won the battle, what would you want that win to encompass?” People lose sight of what their highest priorities are and get diverted fighting other battles that then cause unnecessary problems. (Location 2540)

DON’T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY—MAKE IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIPS WORK (Location 2555)

The ability to not take opposition or slights personally, think about whose support you need and go after it, regardless of their behavior toward you or your own feelings, and remain focused on the data and impartial analysis requires a high level of self-discipline and emotional maturity. (Location 2570)

BE PERSISTENT (Location 2574)

Persistence works because it wears down the opposition. Much like water eroding a rock, over time keeping at something creates results. (Location 2583)

ADVANCE ON MULTIPLE FRONTS (Location 2589)

MOVE FIRST—SEIZE THE INITIATIVE (Location 2606)

USE REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS TO SHAPE BEHAVIOR (Location 2617)

MAKE YOUR OBJECTIVES SEEM COMPELLING (Location 2634)

to the extent you can associate your efforts with a socially desirable, compelling value, you increase your likelihood of success. (Location 2637)

At the moment of crisis and decision, clever combatants customarily invoke “shareholders’ interests.” (Location 2643)

place your own objectives in a broader context that compels others to support you. (Location 2655)

Embarrassment is the normal reaction to losing one’s job, even if it isn’t your fault. (Location 2683)

We are as subject to the just-world effect—believing that we get what we deserve—as are outside observers, so when people lose a power struggle, the first thing they do is blame themselves. (Location 2684)

Telling that story requires getting over any embarrassment and the associated tendency to retreat from view. If you are going to persevere and recover, you need to stop blaming yourself, letting your opponents dominate the discussion of what happened, and feeling bad about your complicity in your demise. (Location 2687)

The best way to overcome the embarrassment is to talk about what happened to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. (Location 2690)

when you face a setback, don’t take the advice of those who advocate finding another area of work. (Location 2698)

One of the ways others are going to ascertain how things turned out is by how you present yourself. Are you upbeat? Do you project power and success or the reverse? This is why developing the ability to act in ways that you may not feel at the moment, described in chapter 7, is such an important skill. (Location 2722)

You want to convey that everything is fine and under your control, even under dire circumstances. (Location 2724)

As you chart your course and make decisions about what you will and will not do to acquire power, consider carefully what you are striving for and if you really want it. People who seek and attain power often pay some price for the quest, for holding on to their positions, and confronting the difficult but inevitable transitions out of powerful roles. (Location 2739)

COST 1: VISIBILITY AND PUBLIC SCRUTINY (Location 2742)

Every aspect of your life, including how you dress, where you live, how you spend your time, who you choose to spend time with, what your children do, what you drive, how you act in completely non-job-related domains, will draw scrutiny. (Location 2754)

Social psychologists have a term for this widespread and well-studied phenomenon—it is called the “social facilitation effect.”4 When you are in the presence of other people, even if they aren’t watching you, you are more motivated and on edge. That’s fine, up to a point. The relationship between motivation and performance is curvilinear—positive up to some level as effort increases but then negative as increased tension decreases your ability to process information and make decisions. (Location 2766)

social facilitation literature shows that the presence of others, by increasing motivation and psychological arousal, will enhance performance of overlearned and simple activities such as running or walking, but will decrease performance on tasks that entail new learning or involve novel or difficult activities. (Location 2770)

Another cost of visibility is distraction of effort. People are interested in their reputation and image. Consequently, they spend time on impression management. (Location 2776)

There is yet another cost of visibility. Under the pressure to “look good,” people and companies are reluctant to take risks or innovate, opting to do what seems safe. This may help to explain the “innovator’s dilemma,” described by Clayton Christensen. (Location 2800)

Christensen noted that once companies became large and successful, they seldom introduced the next generation of innovations in their industries, particularly when such innovations were disruptive to their existing business model. (Location 2802)

COST 2: THE LOSS OF AUTONOMY (Location 2810)

James March, a very distinguished organizational scholar and political scientist, once remarked that you could have power or autonomy, but not both. (Location 2810) [[Quote Collection]]

After a while, most of the CEOs and other senior leaders I know block out time for themselves and the activities that they want to do. But all of them talk about the loss of control over how they spend their time as one of the big costs of being in a position of power. (Location 2820)

COST 3: THE TIME AND EFFORT REQUIRED (Location 2822)

Building and maintaining power requires time and effort, there are no two ways about it. Time spent on your quest for power and status is time that you cannot spend on other things, such as hobbies or personal relationships and families. (Location 2823)

^^**Sociologist Hanna Papanek described women’s frequent response to the demands of their husbands’ occupations as the “two-person single career.”12 Wives contribute to their husbands’ success by providing advice and support, entertaining colleagues, and relieving husbands of many of the routine tasks of daily life.**^^ (Location 2843) [[Quote Collection]]

Getting and keeping power takes time away from friends and family. This is a price that some people are willing to pay. But it is an inevitable cost of pursuing powerful, high-status positions that require time, energy, and focus for success. (Location 2863)

COST 4: TRUST DILEMMAS (Location 2865)

the higher you rise and the more powerful the position you occupy, the greater the number of people who will want your job. (Location 2866)

Gary Loveman, the former Harvard Business School professor who is now the CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment, commented that the higher you rise in an organization, the more people are going to tell you that you are right. (Location 2871)

He also ^^**placed a lot of emphasis on the process by which decisions got made—particularly, the use of data and analytics—and almost no emphasis on who was making the decision.**^^ (Location 2875)

for CEOs to survive in their jobs, they need to be able to discern who is undermining them and be tough enough to remove those people before they themselves lose the power struggle. What’s true for CEOs is also true for other senior-level executives with ambitious subordinates. (Location 2885)

When you are in power, you should probably trust no single person in your organization too much, unless you are certain of their loyalty and that they are not after your job. The constant vigilance required by those in power—to ensure they are hearing the truth and to maintain their position vis-à-vis rivals—is yet another cost of occupying a job that many others want. (Location 2900)

COST 5: POWER AS AN ADDICTIVE DRUG (Location 2904)

This feeling of no longer being a player or a member of the elite is a loss felt intensely by many who have been successful at the power-and-money game. (Location 2928)

In the center of frenetic energy and attention, it is difficult not to lose one’s identity and values. (Location 2934)

people who have left positions of great power and status and continue to serve on multiple boards and maintain an intense pace, that, accustomed as they were during their work life to days filled with frenetic activity, once out of the job they seek to re-create the same peripatetic life, the same adrenaline high, and if possible, the same level of adulation they once received routinely. (Location 2938)

People have a heightened risk of death in the period immediately after they lose their job—and not just because of greater financial stress or the absence of medical insurance. (Location 2941)

Power is addictive, in both a psychological and physical sense. The rush and excitement from being involved in important discussions with senior figures and the ego boost from having people at your beck (Location 2945)

Nonetheless, as consulting firm Booz Allen reported, the annual turnover rate of corporate CEOs increased 59 percent between 1995 and 2006. This increase occurred worldwide, not just in the United States. During that same period, instances where CEOs were fired or pushed out rose by 318 percent. (Location 2965)

Berkeley social psychologist Dacher Keltner and his colleagues talk about power leading to “approach” behavior—in that people more actively try to obtain what they want—and diminishing “inhibition,” or the tendency to follow social rules and constraints that might limit what people do to obtain their goals. (Location 2985)

^^**Studies of the effects of power on the power holder consistently find that power produces overconfidence and risk taking,7 insensitivity to others, stereotyping, and a tendency to see other people as a means to the power holder’s gratification.**^^ (Location 2993)

It is tough for those in power to see the world from others’ perspectives—but if you are going to survive, you need to get over yourself and your formal position and retain your sensitivity to the political dynamics around you. (Location 3037)

When you are powerful and successful, you are overconfident and less observant—and one specific manifestation of such tendencies is to trust what others tell you and rely on their assurances. (Location 3050)

People will do lots of things to acquire power—but you shouldn’t necessarily rely on them to keep their word once they have it. (Location 3072)

It’s easier to lose your patience when you are in power—power leads to disinhibition, to not watching what you say and do, to being more concerned about yourself than about the feelings of others. But losing patience causes people to lose control and offend others, and that can cost them their jobs. (Location 3106)

The combination of diminished vigilance and changed circumstances often leads to the loss of power. (Location 3163)

You cannot always completely control how much power you maintain, but you can leave your position with dignity and thereby influence your legacy. (Location 3173)

Higher levels of perceived politics inside organizations are associated with reduced job satisfaction, morale, and organizational commitment, and higher levels of perceived politics are also correlated with higher intentions to quit. (Location 3184)

you should always watch your back, but be particularly wary and sensitive to what is occurring during times of economic stress. That is when political turmoil and the use of power are likely to be at their peak. (Location 3218)

the specific organization or domain in which you rise to power may matter less than the fact that you manage to achieve high-level status someplace. The prestige and power that come from achieving a senior position will generalize to some extent to other contexts, providing you with status there as well. (Location 3290)

New York University social psychologist John Jost (Location 3299)

Jost’s research shows that people will voluntarily contribute to their own disempowerment to maintain a stable hierarchical social order. In a series of studies, Jost found that lower-power groups often developed attitudes that justified their own inferior (and others’ more favored) position, thereby contributing to the persistence of hierarchical arrangements that disadvantaged them. (Location 3300)

In describing how he has been able to implement ideas even without a technical background and as an outsider to the company, at least initially, Yusuf emphasized two things:

  • first, do excellent quality work, which entails hiring and effectively leading outstanding talent.
  • And second, understand the organizational dynamics—how different people perceive things, what their interests are, how to make a persuasive case, and how to get along with people and build effective personal relationships. (Location 3324)

the first step in building a path to power is to pick an environment that fits your aptitudes and interests—one where you can be successful in both the technical and political aspects, if any, of the work. (Location 3407)

You need to be realistic about the political risks, not just to you but to those to whom you are tied, if you want to build a path to power. (Location 3433)

^^**If you feel powerful, you will act and project power and others will respond accordingly. If you feel powerless, your behavior will be similarly self-confirming.**^^ (Location 3438)

Social psychologists Cameron Anderson and Jennifer Berdahl reviewed literature showing that people who had less power or didn’t feel powerful exhibited “inhibitive nonverbal behaviors,” such as shrinking in, caving in their chests, physically withdrawing, and using fewer and less forceful and dramatic hand gestures. (Location 3440)

Anderson and Berdahl’s experiments showed that people higher in personality dominance or given control over resources were more likely to express their true attitudes and to perceive rewards as being available in situations. People lower in personality dominance with less resource control perceived situations as threats not opportunities and hid their true attitudes. (Location 3446)

People give up their power in other ways, too. They don’t behave strategically toward people with power over them, such as their boss, and instead let their true feelings show. As (Location 3449)

People sometimes give away their power by defining situations as outside of their control, thereby playing the victim role. (Location 3456)

People give away their power by not trying. If you don’t try, you can’t fail—which protects your self-esteem. (Location 3465)

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”4 It is much more difficult for others to take away your power if you aren’t complicit in the process. (Location 3470) [[Quote Collection]]

David Kipnis, “Does Power Corrupt?” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 24 (1972): 33–41. 9. (Location 5073)

This particular study is described in Keltner, Gruenfeld, and Anderson, “Power, Approach, and Inhibition.” There are numerous studies of a similar form showing how power leads to less inhibition in behavior. See, for instance, Cameron Anderson and Jennifer L. Berdahl, “The Experience of Power: Examining the Effects of Power on Approach and Inhibition Tendencies,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 83 (2002): 1362–1377. (Location 5076)

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