Discover how to gain (and keep) power in any situation with this “remarkably insightful read on what power is, how it’s gained, and how it can be used for good” (Adam Grant, bestselling author of Think Again).
Power is one of the most misunderstood—and therefore vilified—concepts in our society. Many assume power is predetermined by personality or wealth, or that it’s gained by strong-arming others. You might even write it off as “dirty” and want nothing to do with it. But by staying away from power, you give it up to someone else who may not have your best interest in mind. We must understand and use our power to have impact, and pioneering researchers Julie Battilana and Tiziana Casciaro provide the playbook for doing so in Power, for All.
Battilana and Casciaro offer a “necessary” (Tarana Burke, creator of the #MeToo movement and bestselling author of Unbound) and “invaluable” (David Gergen, CNN political analyst) vision of power: the ability to influence someone else’s behavior. This influence is derived from having access to valued resources, and once you understand what those are, you can take action to improve life for yourself and others.
With proven strategies of agitating, innovating, and orchestrating change, Power, for All shows how those with less power can challenge established structures to make them more balanced. The authors teach you how to power-map your workplace to find who can create real change at work, plan for and cause sustaining shifts, and understand the two basic needs all human beings share—safety and self-esteem—and the resources people seek to satisfy those needs: money and status, but also autonomy, achievement, affiliation, and mortality. 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.
Power, for All demystifies the essential mechanisms for acquiring and using power for all people.
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, The Washington Post, Businessweek, Harvard Business Review, The Guardian, Forbes, The Boston Globe, and she has been a regular contributor to Le Monde. A native of France, Battilana lives in the Boston, Massachusetts area.
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 thirty 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.
“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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again
“In Power, for All, Battilana and Casciaro help us understand that power doesn't always have to destroy and take—it can be used to serve and build; and they show us how to organize in a way that combines our power with others. A necessary work for this cultural moment.”
—Tarana Burke, founder of the 'me too.' movement and co-author of New York Times bestseller You Are Your Best Thing
"Power for All is an instant classic: a brilliantly conceived, beautifully written and highly informative guide to the critical but often misunderstood phenomenon of power. Battilana and Casciaro weave together insights from a wide range of research studies—brought to life through compelling stories—to present a profoundly moral case for how to use power to make our world better.”
—Amy C. Edmondson, professor at Harvard Business School and author of The Fearless Organization
"In an age when authoritarians are on the rise and freedoms are imperiled, Julie Battilana and Tiziana Casciaro offer a fresh, more hopeful view of how power can be shared by all citizens. Their conclusions, rooted in research and world-wide reporting, show that power can be dirty but in honorable hands, can also be an enormous force for good. This book will be invaluable to anyone asking how to acquire power, how to keep it and how to exercise it for moral purposes."
—David Gergen, CNN political analyst and adviser to four U.S. presidents
“Power dynamics are tricky, frustrating, and frequently destructive. A central cause is the lack of a concrete, usable model for thinking through how to diagnose and shift power dynamics. In Power for All, Battilana and Casciaro fill this void by providing both a model and numerous case studies to illustrate how each one of us can manage power to more productive ends.”
—Roger Martin, bestselling author of Playing to Win