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Power, for All

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

“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).

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.

Evgenia Eliseeva

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, BusinessweekHarvard Business ReviewThe GuardianForbesThe Boston Globe, and she has been a regular contributor to Le Monde. A native of France, Battilana lives in the Boston, Massachusetts area.

Courtesy of the Author

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 EconomistFinancial TimesThe Washington PostHuffPostHarvard Business ReviewUSA TODAYForbes, 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