The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence

The Power Paradox How We Gain and Lose Influence A revolutionary and timely reconsideration of everything we know about power Celebrated UC Berkeley psychologist Dr Dacher Keltner argues that compassion and selflessness enable us to have the most in

  • Title: The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence
  • Author: Dacher Keltner
  • ISBN: 9781594205248
  • Page: 452
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A revolutionary and timely reconsideration of everything we know about power Celebrated UC Berkeley psychologist Dr Dacher Keltner argues that compassion and selflessness enable us to have the most influence over others and the result is power as a force for good in the world.It is taken for granted that power corrupts This is reinforced culturally by everything from MaA revolutionary and timely reconsideration of everything we know about power Celebrated UC Berkeley psychologist Dr Dacher Keltner argues that compassion and selflessness enable us to have the most influence over others and the result is power as a force for good in the world.It is taken for granted that power corrupts This is reinforced culturally by everything from Machiavelli to contemporary politics But how do we get power And how does it change our behavior So often, in spite of our best intentions, we lose our hard won power Enduring power comes from empathy and giving Above all, power is given to us by other people This is what all too often we forget, and what Dr Keltner sets straight This is the crux of the power paradox by fundamentally misunderstanding the behaviors that helped us to gain power in the first place we set ourselves up to fall from power We can t retain power because we ve never understood it correctly, until now Power isn t the capacity to act in cruel and uncaring ways it is the ability to do good for others, expressed in daily life, and itself a good a thing.Dr Keltner lays out exactly in twenty original Power Principles how to retain power, why power can be a demonstrably good thing, and the terrible consequences of letting those around us languish in powerlessness.

    One thought on “The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence”

    1. I used to read quite a lot of business books years ago, and (not knowing any better) I thought they were pretty good. But then I got into reading popular science. When I then went back to business books, I found that they were tissue-thin. The majority were really little more than a magazine article with a few key points, expanded with lots of padding to make a book. Generally speaking, you can't get away with this in popular science books. But I'm afraid that Dacher Keltner's The Power Paradox [...]

    2. Well intentioned and carefully organized, but neither sharply argued nor terribly informative. The author makes sweeping generalizations about "power," and about how "powerful" and "powerless" people operate, that reflect a generically liberal worldview without bringing anything new to the table. He purports to support his claims with personal anecdotes and "scientific" findings about how people act in artificial lab conditions. His intended message ("let's rethink what power is, how it affects [...]

    3. In this book, as in his previous works, Dacher Keltner demonstrates that he is one of the leading psychologists of our time. Dacher proposes that a change in the paradigm through which we have seen power. Rather than something acquired through domination or coercion, Keltner argues convincingly that power is most often given, not taken. He illustrates with cleverly constructed studies how power accumulates in the hands of those who are gifted at empowering others. Keltner's version of power is s [...]

    4. This book is, for me, an enormous disappointment. First, when trying to explain how people get power, he details how powerful people do more for the people around them. Then he explains how powerful people don't do things for the people around them. Then he explains that powerless people also do things for the people around them. The only thing he didn't say was that people with little power don't do things for the people around them, which is a point implicitly made by making the first point.Co [...]

    5. This was so interesting!! Such a paradigm shift but at the same time, I can definitely see how it is true. I'm definitely going to be thinking about this over the next little while and I'll need to re reread it too. It also left me with a lot of questions. About very specific examples, such as: charismatic jerks? Despots? The ones I have known/known of seem to have quite a bit of influence How is that different from power? Anyway. Like I said, I'll need to reread this and think about this some m [...]

    6. Dacher Keltner's "The Power Paradox" argues that power is gained through making a difference in the lives of the people over whom power is acquired. He argues power is given by the people to the leader. I was in strong disagreement with the central premise of the book until two caveats were made clear. - Keltner uses the term "power" in situations where I would use the term "influence"- Keltner limits the definition of power as it applies to a limited social group. This is a critical distinction [...]

    7. A fascinating book backed by lots of research about how power is gained and lost, and the effects of power and powerlessness. The power paradox is: power is given and not earned. We are conferred power when we work for the greater good, not for our own Machiavellian good. However, power corrupts and if we are not careful, we start to develop hubris and thus lose power. Spending time and making friends with the less powerful, speaking up for their rights, practice humility, and looking for clues [...]

    8. It is an informative book. I especially liked the chapters 4 and 5, which were very informative. In general, in this book, a novel narrative concerning the concept of power is tried to be given, as well as reasons regarding why people abuse power when they gain it and how powerlessness causes mental and physical damage. However, it seemed to me that it has a very optimistic outlook which I didn't think is objective enough.

    9. A very quick read, which some found shallow. I found it a little too brief on its main points, like an article in book form. The key points are made though, towards a softer vision of power as compared to the iron-fisted vision of The Prince. A good lens to have at hand when talking about power, but it should not be the only lens.___Basic premise: Machiavelli's treatise on power had a very violent backdrop, which no longer exists. Its strongman conception of power is thus due for a revision.We g [...]

    10. Great insight on how to get and keep power. This book explored the truth about power and validates the old as time principal that power corrupts and why.It uses modern research to pull this from being theoretical into concrete. I first learned of this book from a podcast episode on "Hidden Brain" and it intrigued me because the paradox the author is referencing is that to get power, you must first be a really nice person. It debunks the mainstream notion that the most powerful people are at firs [...]

    11. Eye-opening at times, unconvincing at other times.I picked this book up on a whim, since I was interested in the topic of Power from the perspective of current politics. This book, however, makes clear that the topic is approached from a much broader ( and a much more personal) angle. The author talks about Power as it relates to our own everyday interactions - what it means to have power, how we tend to think differently when in power, and how we ultimately lose that power.The book is broadly s [...]

    12. Great short read about the seduction of power and the dangers of powerlessness. the paradox of power is that you gain power by demonstrating your best qualities (contrary to the common Machiavellian perspective of power = force, ruthlessness), but the acquisition of power warps your perspective into thinking you're better than or more entitled than other people, leading you to shameful acts of selfishness and greed that if you did in the first place before you got power, you never would have got [...]

    13. Vlot geschreven praktische overzicht van onderzoek en literatuur op het gebied van “macht”, duidelijk ook door de lijst van “principes”. De eerste zin trof me (“het leven bestaat uit patronen.”). “Patroon” komt van “vader” (pater), de bron van het fenomeen “macht”. Zonder iets op de inhoud af te willen doen, zoekt de auteur naar mogelijkheden om de machtsparadox te overwinnen. Dat lijkt me paradoxaal, vooral ook omdat een betekenisvol leven leiden een van existentiële (e [...]

    14. Unfinished at 40% as I felt I wasn't learning anything new and the author's message was getting quite repetitive, even in this short book. The author argues that in order to gain power and influence, you must act in the best interest of others and that the "traditional" and Machiavellian means of achieving power will ultimately detract from an individual's hold on power. It's an interesting concept that could have been brought more to life through deeper psychological studies and research. But i [...]

    15. Great little book. The general idea being that people are given power (as opposed to take power) when they most propagate the greater good. But this newly founded access to power erodes some of the very things that got them there in the first place (most notably; putting others before themselves). As a caveat I'd like to add that although people are given power (as opposed to take power), I think it's less for the *greater* good and more for the *common* good. Which means that people who do larg [...]

    16. This was an excellent book based on the author's and others' research. According to the author, contrary to what we have been taught, the powerless and poor tend to be more generous and empathetic. Power does corrupt. Those with an excess of power/wealth tend to be ruder and less ethical. For example, the author says that the wealthy shoplift more often than the poor and they express their anger at others more often and without regard to the impact it might have.He believes that power is not gra [...]

    17. The book overall is a quick easy read and (for the topic) surprisingly short. As a writing that wants to overthrow statements from "The prince" by Machiavelli, I found it a bit too weak and concise for my taste. However I could grasp the overall ideology and I did find interesting statements that were great food for thought. In the end the writer did not convince me to accept the points made in the ending statement, maybe due to the lack of scientific testimonial or the writing style. I would ho [...]

    18. The book is too long and the first few chapters can be a little boringbut still I would recommend it. The idea explained in the book is really powerful, that we need to be 'nice' to gain power and influence, but we turn 'nasty' the moment we are in power. Most people already expect this to happen, but the autor clearly explains what happens and cements his theory with good arguments and research. This book should be on the reading list of every politician and CEO.

    19. If u r looking for a primer which is not too discriminating on its facts, this will suffice as a easy albeit insufficient read. How power corrupts and even the thought of having an advantage provides an ideation towards self reward. There are too much generalities which doesn't delve into what makes us tick. Why the power-less are at a disadvantage in concert with those with power be it in a social, political or economic sphere requires much more study.

    20. Interesting quick read that raises as many questions as it answersThoughtful, seemingly well researched and well written. I like the 20 principles and one can see how to put them into action. What felt lacking for me was - why do we sometimes have huge imbalances of power and why not? Why do some cultures have much worse outcomes for those without power than others? What can and should we do about it.Definitely worth the read but I'd like to see a deeper treatment.

    21. A Book To Be Thankful ForEveryone who question those who abuse power to the extreme, can learn from this book. Our current political situation is the most recent example of high level abuse. But, power is a many headed dragon, and not easily slain or tamed. You will learn core lessons in this book from an academic who is also street savvy.

    22. This book have me a new perspective of power that I feel will help me with my everyday associations. I learned that empathy is key to real power and this is not generally what people think of about power over others.

    23. This is part of the genre of social science books that I enjoy, but the writing left much to be desired. Very repetitive and the evidence felt a bit contrived. The principles and concepts we're fascinating, however, and I found myself thinking about this a lot after I put it down.

    24. Title and intro chapter got me interested, but honestly wasn't a very informative read. Agreed with a lot of the ideas in the book, but felt that there were too many generalizations and didn't think the evidence used to support the claims was all that convincing.

    25. Power, as so many things and notions of the everyday life, is all too often misinterpreted. A great book on the subject. Not on power alone, but on many things. It does raise lots of questions to reflect on.

    26. I don't think I learned anything new from this novel. I did however get a lot of reminders on how to use soft power in a positive way. it's all very "Sesame Street" to me, zero hard science in this. I was seeking light pop science for an easy yet illuminating read. This was too light.

    27. The first half was a little slow, but the second half was much better. If your interested, I recommend listening to the podcast first that goes into some of the book's concepts. npr/2016/09/06/4923054

    28. Amazingly enough, this book parallels The Book of MormonAll of the concepts are there, with an emphasis on gratitude and service. If you want to change the world is the answer!

    29. It is an interesting book from a Good-hearted author.At the end it gives the information you are probably looking for keeping the power, but you have to read the book in preparation to keep those.

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