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Book Club Announcement: Managing with Power

In my ongoing mission to turn ideas into action, I am pleased to announce another deep-dive into a classic leadership book. Beginning in May, 2012 — and continuing for eighteen weeks — friends, fans and fellow ambitious leaders will read and discuss a chapter per week in Jeffery Pfeffer’s seminal work Managing with Power: Politics and Influence in Organizations. Concurrent with our reading we will share our insights, questions, and observations in a private online discussion forum. Additionally, every Friday I will host a conference call to further explore the ideas inspired by that week’s text.

Although originally published in 1993, the insights and principles in Managing with Power are as timeless and relevant as ever. Managing with Power is about learning how to influence — that is, it’s about learning how to lead through influencing others regardless of your title, rank or position. This book is for anyone who has ever endeavored to get something done in an organization of more than one person. Leadership comes in all shapes and forms and, contrary to popular opinion, is only moderately correlated to position and title. Pfeffer offers an in-depth look at the role of power and influence in organizations and demonstrates the necessity of power in mobilizing political support and resources to get things done. Along the way he looks at the personal attributes and structural factors that help leaders advance organizational goals and achieve individual success.

How The Club Works

  1. Members purchase their own copies of Managing with Power
  2. The online discussion take place in a private group on LinkedIn.
  3. Every Monday morning — beginning April 30 — I will start a new discussion and post questions for consideration from the current chapter.
  4. Anyone in the group can comment, ask further questions, explore and discuss using the LinkedIn discussion features.
  5. For those who also enjoy verbal discussions, I will facilitate a one-hour conference call every Friday at noon EDT for those who want to further explore and engage with their fellow travelers through the book.

What To Do

  1. Pick up your own copy of Managing with Power (Amazon link)
  2. Contact me to let me know you are interested in joining the group.
  3. Join the Rizers group on LinkedIn (It’s an open group)
  4. I will send you an invitation to join the subgroup Book Club: Managing with Power (It’s a private group, so we can be more frank in our conversations.)
  5. Mark your calendars for the weekly conference call at noon on Friday’s beginning on Friday May 4 and continuing for 18 weeks. Details for the calls will be sent via email and posted in the discussion group
  6. Read the first chapter of Managing with Power before May 4
  7. Join the conversation beginning April 30 in the Managing with Power discussion forum.

Still Undecided?

To whet your appetite, here is the table of contents from Pfeffer’s book.

  1. Decisions and Implementation
  2. When is Power Used?
  3. Diagnosing Power and Dependence
  4. Sources of Power / Where Does Power Come From?
  5. Resources, Allies, and the New Golden Rule
  6. Location in the Communication Network
  7. Formal Authority, Reputation, and Performance
  8. The Importance of Being in the Right Unit
  9. Individual Attributes as Sources of Power
  10. Framing: How We Look at Things Affects How They Look
  11. Interpersonal Influence
  12. Timing Is (Almost) Everything
  13. The Politics of Information and Analysis
  14. Changing the Structure to Consolidate Power
  15. Symbolic Action: Language, Ceremonies, and Settings
  16. Even the Mighty Fall: How Power is Lost
  17. Managing Political Dynamics Productively
  18. Managing with Power

About the Author

Jeffrey Pfeffer is Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. He is the author or co-author of dozens of books.

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