Synopses & Reviews
In today's complex work world, things no longer get done simply because someone issues an order and someone else follows it.
Most of us work in socially intricate organizations where we need the help not only of subordinates but of colleagues, superiors, and outsiders to accomplish our goals. This often leaves us in a "power gap" because we must depend on people over whom we have little or no explicit control.
This is a book about how to bridge that gap: how to exercise the power and influence you need to get things done through others when your responsibilities exceed your formal authority.
Full of original ideas and expert insights about how organizationsand the people in themfunction, Power and Influence goes further, demonstrating that lower-level personnel also need strong leadership skills and interpersonal know-how to perform well.
Kotter shows how you can develop sufficient resources of "unofficial" power and influence to achieve goals, steer clear of conflicts, foster creative team behavior, and gain the cooperation and support you need from subordinates, coworkers, superiorseven people outside your department or organization.
He also shows how you can avoid the twin traps of naivete and cynicism when dealing with power relationships, and how to use your power without abusing it.
Power and Influence is essential for top managers who need to overcome the infighting, foot-dragging, and politicking that can destroy both morale and profits; for middle managers who don't want their careers sidetracked by unproductive power struggles; for professionals hindered by bureaucratic obstacles and deadline delays; and for staff workers who have to "manage the boss."
This is not a book for those who want to "grab" power for their own ends. But if you'd like to create smooth, responsive working relationships and increase your personal effectiveness on the job, Kotter can show you howand make the dynamics of power work for you instead of against you.
John R. MurphyDirector, Executive and Advanced Management Education, GTE CorporationJohn Kotter does two remarkable things in this book. First, he puts his finger on what has been making many of us so uncomfortable with the popularized notions of excellence: It is not that we lack excellence in our organizations what we lack is enough managers with the power to mobilize various groups and interests to allow this excellence to shine. Second, he liberates the concept of power from the traditional "anything goes" definition and lays out a brilliantly clear personal strategy for capturing the only legitimate, real power in an organizationthe ability to get things done.
Leslie L. VadaszSenior Vice President, Intel CorporationI really enjoyed this book! Kotter describes complex issues clearly, but without oversimplification. I will certainly recommend POWER AND INFLUENCE to my colleagues.
B. Lyle ShaferVice PresidentPersonnel Resources NCR CorporationJohn Kotter has isolated, defined, and articulated one of the most elusive and misunderstood aspects of management. POWER AND INFLUENCE is must reading for all staff managers.
About the Author
John P. Kotter is Chairman of the Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management Area at the Harvard Business School. He has won McKinsey awards for two Harvard Business Review articles, "Managing Your Boss" and "Power, Dependence, and Effective Management," and received the 1977 Exxon Award for innovative curriculum design for developing the Self-Assessment and Career Development program at the Harvard Business School. Kotter is author of six books, including The General Managers (also published by The Free Press).
Table of Contents
Part I THE CHANGING NATURE OF MANAGERIAL AND PROFESSIONAL WORK
2. Diversity, Interdependence, and Power Dynamics in Organizations: Beyond Naivete and Cynicism
3. The Leadership Challenge: Making Social Complexity Work for Us, Not Against Us
Part II THE RELATIONAL CONTEXT OF WORK
4. Relations Outside the Chain of Command: Overcoming Resistance and Gaining Cooperation Without Formal Authority
5. Relations with Subordinates: Coping with Dependence on a Complex Human System
6. Relations with Superiors: The Challenge of "Managing" a Boss
Part III THE LIFE CYCLE OF LEADERSHIP
7. Early Career: Developing an Adequate Power Base
8. Mid-Career: Using Power Without Abusing It
9. Late Career: Letting Go Gracefully
Part IV IMPLICATIONS
10. Improving Personal Effectiveness at Work: Some Recommendations
11. Leadership Skills as Social Capital: An Agenda for the Future