- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins - US (1 September 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780061789083
- ISBN-13: 978-0061789083
- ASIN: 0061789089
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don't Hardcover – 1 Sep 2010
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"Its candor, crisp prose, and forthrightness are fresh and appealing... Brimming with frank, realistic insights on paths to the top, this book offers unexpected--and aggressive--directions on how to advance and flourish in an ever-more competitive workplace."--Publishers Weekly
"Talk about speaking truth to power! In refreshingly candid prose, Jeff Pfeffer offers brilliant insights into how power is successfully built, maintained, and employed in organizations. It's well known that when Pfeffer speaks about power, smart people listen. This book shows why."--Robert Cialdini, author of Influence
"Jeff Pfeffer nails it! Political skill, not just talent, is central to success in every field. In Power, this leading scholar comes down to earth with practical, even contrarian, tactics for mastering the power game."--Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Chaired Professor, Harvard Business School, and bestselling author of Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End and SuperCorp
"Jeff Pfeffer is of immense service to the world with his work, blending academic rigor and practical genius into wonderfully readable text. The leading thinker on the topic of power, Pfeffer here distills his wisdom into an indispensable guide."--Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and How the Mighty Fall
"[Power] will help you get comfortable with challenging assumptions and lingering on the pause....[Pfeffer] draws on a wealth of social-science and psychology research."--Inc.
"[Power] ought to be required reading for would-be leaders...[E]xcellent."--Financial Times
From the Back Cover
In this crowning achievement, one of the greatest minds in management theory reveals how to succeed and wield power in the real world.
Over decades of consulting with corporations and teaching MBA students the nuances of organizational power, Jeffrey Pfeffer has watched numerous people suffer career reversals even as others prevail despite the odds.
Our most common mistake is not having a realistic understanding of what makes some people more successful than others. By believing that life is fair, we tend to subscribe to the “just-world phenomenon,” which leaves us unprepared for the challenges and competition of the real world.
Now Pfeffer brings decades of his incredible insights to a wider audience. Brimming with counterintuitive advice, numerous examples from various countries, and surprising findings based on his research, this groundbreaking guide reveals the strategies and tactics that separate the winners from the losers. Power, he argues, is a force that can be used and harnessed not only for individual gain but also for the benefit of organizations and society. Power, however, is not something that can be learned from those in charge—their advice often puts a rosy spin on their ascent and focuses on what should have worked, rather than what actually did. Instead, Pfeffer reveals the true paths to power and career success. Iconoclastic and grounded in the realpolitik of human interaction, Power is an essential organizational survival manual and a new standard in the field of leadership and management.
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While I agree to some degree with that notion, however ultimately, you're working at some goal because of a particular set of skills. You cannot necessarily switch or start at a growing department for the sake of growth or power. One must strive for what is relevant to one's skill sets and or goals. Then you can identify paths to power where relevant. That is only one example of over-simplification.
I found some examples within chapter 9, "Building a repuation" a little far fetched as well; such as, getting the media on your side or having powerful people tout you.
I still gave 4 stars because with a little tweaking and careful consideration, many tactics within this book are useful.
This book is empowering. If you read this and think, "This is depressing. I'll never play these games." you're missing the point. If you don't understand the games, you will always, always, always lose. Understanding the rules helps you stay above the fray rather than being walked over and rudely surprised later. You won't find any other resource that will candidly map out organizational politics and power like this -- especially one this compelling and joyful to read.
I agree with everyone who says this is must-read material and since finishing it two weeks ago, I've already loaned my dogeared copy to two others. Incredible.
If you want to read a no nonsense book with advice that you can implement today. This is it.
That is a fairly apt description. Pfeffer is interested in power as it is practiced. As such (and to the dismay of some of my students and some reviewers on this site), the author seeks to describe the world as it is and how many successful people in it maneuver. Pfeffer breaks down aspects of power such as communication, self-promotion, acting, use of anger as well as other facets. These are outlined and described (with examples) in easy to digest chapters. This work is a mix of study (the nature of power) as well as "how to." For anyone involved in organizations or other political situations where there is competition for resources and rewards, this book is very useful to understand how those who are competitors are likely to behave and act. And while it is true that many view (at least some of the time) these competitions though the lens of ethics, others do not. Even for the ethically minded, this book is very useful in order to gain an understanding of raw power and how it often is practiced.
Pfeffer is a skilled writer who is direct as well as explanatory. An advantage over Machiavelli's work is that Pfeffer speaks to the reader in today's language. Whereas The Prince takes some thought in order to translate the mores and references of the Renaissance for understanding, "Power...." is crystal clear in its precepts.
What this book is good for is identifying bad management and leaving a company. Hence 2 stars