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Power, for All

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Power, for All

How It Really Works and Why It's Everyone's Business

Simon & Schuster,

15 min read
8 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

The fundamentals of power – who has it, how it works and how to get it.

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples


The uses and abuses of power have long fascinated humanity. Power struggles are a staple of the daily news and of countless novels, films and television shows. But as social scientists Julie Battilana and Tiziana Casciaro point out, people harbor many misconceptions about the nature of power and how to attain it. In this thought-provoking account, the authors argue that power accrues to whoever controls access to the resources that a society values.


To make a difference in the world, you need to understand the dynamics of power.

The use and abuse of power fascinate people. Countless stories – Aladdin, The Lord of the Rings, the Harry Potter chronicles – focus on the allure and pitfalls of power. Power is central to every human endeavor, from interpersonal relationships and workplace conflicts to international relations and the behavior of businesses.

Most people harbor significant misconceptions about how power works and how individuals or groups acquire it. These fallacies can impede recognizing and averting abuses of power. They also impede people’s efforts to gain more control over their lives and to advocate for change in society.

Control over resources is the foundation of power.

Having power means you can shape other people’s behavior, either through persuasion or coercion. You gain power by controlling access to the resources people want or need.

How much power you hold depends on whether the other party can find alternative suppliers of those valued resources.

The need for ...

About the Authors

Julie Battilana is a professor of organizational behavior and social innovation at the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School. Tiziana Casciaro is a professor of organizational behavior at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

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