Power, for All - Deepstash
Power, for All

Power, for All

Julie Battilana, Tiziana Casciaro




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Power, for All

Power, for All

  • To make a difference in the world, you need to understand the dynamics of power.
  • Control over resources is the foundation of power.
  • Power is morally neutral, and it is each person’s choice to use it to pursue noble or evil ends.
  • Having power can alter a person’s perspective and judgment.
  • Power is not necessarily inherent in a title or position.
  • Relationships are a critical source of power.
  • Society and businesses should restrain the use of power to prevent its abuse. 
  • Serve your stakeholders, not only your shareholders.


32 reads

To make a difference in the world, you need to understand the dynamics of power.

“Power fascinates and repulses us at the same time.”

Most people harbor significant misconceptions about how power works and how individuals or groups acquire it. These fallacies can impede recognizing and averting abuses of power. They also impede people’s efforts to gain more control over their lives and to advocate for change in society.


18 reads

Control over resources is the foundation of power.

“The primary driver of our desire for power is not the desire for influence over the lives of others, but rather freedom from the influence of others over us.”


15 reads

The need for two fundamental resources has underpinned power throughout history:

  1. Safety – In any human group, people may gain power by providing access to the necessities for physical and psychological well-being, such as food, water, shelter and protection from attack. 
  2. Self-esteem – People need to feel that their lives are meaningful and that they have earned respect and approval. Providing opportunities for people to connect, and offering ways in which they can elevate their status, achievements and moral standing are among the most significant routes to gaining power and influence.


15 reads

A power relationship is not always a one-way street

“Power exists only in the context of a relationship. No one is ever powerful or powerless in general.”


9 reads

Parties can sustain or realign a balance of power in four ways:

  1. Attraction – Increasing the perceived value of the resources you hold can shift the balance of power in your direction.
  2. Consolidation – You can increase your power over other people by limiting their access to alternate sources for the things they value. 
  3. Withdrawal – Those in the lower positions can rebalance the scales by spurning what more powerful parties offer.
  4. Expansion – Other diamond sellers also diluted De Beers’s pre-eminence by increasing the number of alternative sources for diamonds, from new mines in Canada to new techniques for creating synthetic diamonds.


5 reads

Power is morally neutral, and it is each person’s choice to use it to pursue noble or evil ends.

“[Power] seems like fire: bewitching, but capable of consuming us if we get too close.”


6 reads

Having power can alter a person’s perspective and judgment.

“When leaders express humility, the quality of team members’ contributions increases, together with their job satisfaction and retention, and their engagement and learning orientation.”


6 reads

Power is not necessarily inherent in a title or position.

“Far from being fixed, power relationships evolve over time as the parties engage in…moves and countermoves.”

“Collectively, our misunderstanding of power is catastrophic, because it makes us less likely to identify, prevent or stop abuses of power that threaten our freedoms and well-being.”


4 reads

Relationships are a critical source of power.

“Having many connections is not the only way a network gives you power: You can also control access to valued resources by being the in-between, the information broker between networks.”

Creating a power map requires observation. Take note of others’ behaviors and interactions to root out answers to:

  • Who is in alliance, and who is in conflict?
  • Who has the most connections?
  • Who do people seek out for advice or information?


5 reads

Society and businesses should restrain the use of power to prevent its abuse.

“[The practice of] power-sharing and accountability accomplishes two objectives: It doesn’t let power go to the leader’s head, and it improves the effectiveness of the group.”


5 reads

Serve your stakeholders, not only your shareholders.

“Too great a power imbalance is dangerous, not only for the disadvantaged, but also for those at the top because it motivates action against the status quo.”


2 reads



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