Power and Career Success with Jeffrey Pfeffer


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Pfeffer reveals the true paths to power and career success. He argues that force 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.

Published in: Career, Technology, Education

Power and Career Success with Jeffrey Pfeffer

  1. 1. Jeffrey Pfeffer<br />Graduate School of Business<br />Stanford University<br />POWER:SOME CORE IDEAS<br />
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  3. 3. BUILD THE QUALITIES THAT CREATE POWER<br />Will<br />Ambition<br />Energy<br />Focus<br />Persistence and resilience<br />Skill<br />Self-knowledge and self-reflection<br />Confidence<br />Empathic understanding of others—ability to “read” people<br />Ability to tolerate/manage/handle conflict<br />
  4. 4. PERSON PERCEPTION<br />Susan Fiske: warmth and competence<br />Osgood, Tannenbaum, and Suci: potency/valence, likeability, and honesty/trust<br />The “problem” is that warmth and competence, intelligence and niceness, strength and likeability, are often seen as negatively correlated<br />Teresa M. Amabile, “Brilliant But Cruel: Perceptions of Negative Evaluators” (J. of Experimental Social Psychology,1983)<br />Amy Cuddy, “Just Because I’m Nice, Don’t Assume I’m Dumb” (Harvard Business Review, February, 2009)<br />
  5. 5. DIFFERENTIATE—STAND OUT<br />The “mere exposure” effect—we prefer/choose the “familiar,” what we remember—so become memorable<br />Find the “white space”—the niche, activities, locations that may become important but that aren’t yet, so competition is less. Then work to make your “location” valuable<br />Take reasonable risks—don’t be afraid of rejection or setbacks<br />
  6. 6. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS/NETWORKS<br />Do the small tasks that no one else wants to do but that bring you into contact with lots of important people<br />Figure out who you need and then meet—and stay in touch with—them<br />The importance of weak ties means you should not spend all of your time with your close friends and colleagues<br />Connect people/groups together who can benefit from knowing each other—brokerage and filling structural holes<br />
  7. 7. WORK ON YOUR REPUTATION<br />You only get one chance to make a first impression<br />What is your personal brand—how you want to be known? What does that imply about what you need to do?<br />Cultivate the media—get known, written and talked about<br />Write articles, blogs, columns<br />Consider getting professional public relations help early in your career—when it has longer to work, when you need it more, and when pulling away from the competition is more important<br />
  8. 8. ACT AND SPEAK LIKE A LEADER<br />Power posing changes you (blood chemistry and self-perception) and others’ perceptions of you<br />Stand straight<br />Eye contact<br />Expansive pose—take up space<br />Don’t fidget or do other things that signal nervousness or weakness<br />Forceful hand gestures<br />
  9. 9. ACT AND SPEAK LIKE A LEADER<br />Display anger rather than sadness or remorse<br />Don’t use passive sentence construction—assume control through your speech<br />Use persuasive language<br />Contrastive pairs<br />Lists (of 3 or more)<br />Vivid, emotion producing language<br />Question premises and taken-for-granted assumptions<br />Effectiveness of humor<br />
  10. 10. REMEMBER, POWER IS GOOD FOR YOU<br />Can be monitized<br />Permits you to “change lives, change organizations, change the world”<br />When manifested in greater control over your work life, leads to longevity<br />Seek power as if your life depends on it, because it does.<br />