The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

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What Is 'Power'? (Psychology)

Power represents your ability to get things done through other people. The more power you have, the more things you can do. But remember: with great power comes great responsibility. There's nothing morally wrong with wanting more Power.

All human relationships are based on Power and usually take one of two forms:

Influence is much more effective than Compulsion.

The most direct way to increase your power is to increase your Influence and Reputation.

Josh Kaufman Explains 'Power'

All human relationships are based on Power-the ability to influence the actions of other people.

We can never control people in the control theory sense-we don't have direct access over the inner processes that make people do the things they do. All we can really do is act in ways that encourage people to do what we suggest.

The use of Power typically takes on one of two fundamental forms: influence or compulsion.

Influence is the ability to encourage someone else to want what you suggest.

Compulsion is the ability to force someone else to do what you command.

Encouraging an employee to "go the extra mile" out of a sense of loyalty or craftsmanship is influence. Forcing the employee to work over the weekend by threatening to fire them if they refuse is compulsion. The actions that employee takes may be exactly the same, but how they feel about taking those actions will be quite different.

On the whole, influence is much more effective than compulsion.

The vast majority of people naturally resist being forced to do something against their will or better judgment, so constantly relying on compulsion to get things done is a poor strategy. Bossing people around only serves to make them dislike you, and they'll quit working with you at the earliest available opportunity.

Influence, on the other hand, is sustainable-encouraging people to want what you want gets you the results you're looking for without provoking unnecessary ill will.

Power is a neutral tool-one that can be used for good or ill. Power represents your ability to get things done though other people-the more power you have, the more things you can do. Accordingly, there's nothing morally wrong with consciously seeking to increase your Power, provided you do so while respecting the rights of other people.

The more Power you have, the more you can ultimately accomplish, but with great power comes great responsibility. Like it or not, everyone relies on Power to get things done.

In The 48 Laws of Power, Robert Greene argues that no one is completely exempt from dealing with others, which inevitably involves Power.

The reason that interactions between large groups of people inevitably become political is the ever-present nature of power. If you don't have a plan, your actions will be determined by someone else. By refusing to make the effort to move in the direction you think is best, you're ceding Power to those who do have plans.

Refuse to understand that Power is important, and you're likely to find that any influence you have rapidly disappears The only way to win is to decide to play.

The best way to increase your Power is to do things that increase your influence and Reputation. The more people know your capabilities and respect the reputation you've built, the more power you will have.

Questions About 'Power'


"Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived... Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States


From Chapter 8:

Working With Others


https://personalmba.com/power/



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The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is an acclaimed business, learning, and skill acquisition expert. He is the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. Josh's research and writing have helped millions of people worldwide learn the fundamentals of modern business.

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