Power, for All: How It Really Works and Why It's Everyone's Business
August 30, 2021
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 behavior. 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, democratized 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 skeptical 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, organizations, and society.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julie Battilana is the Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School and the Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she is also the founder and faculty chair of the Social Innovation and Change Initiative. She’s also a cofounder of the Democratizing Work global initiative. She has been featured in media such as NPR, Businessweek, Harvard Business Review, The Guardian, Forbes, The Boston Globe, and she’s a regular contributor to Le Monde. A native of France, Battilana lives in Belmont, Massachusetts.
Tiziana Casciaro is a Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Rotman School of Management and the Marcel Desautels Chair in Integrative Thinking at the University of Toronto. Her research has been featured in the Economist, Financial Times, The Washington Post, HuffPost, Harvard Business Review, USA TODAY, Forbes, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, Fortune, and Time. Her awards include the Outstanding Publication in Organizational Behavior Award of the Academy of Management, and Thinkers50 Radar list of the 30 management thinkers in the world most likely to shape the future of how organizations are managed and led. Originally from Italy, Casciaro lives in Toronto, Canada.
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