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Perfecting Power: Stop Thinking the World is A Just Place

Podcast with Jeffrey Pfeffer, author and professor of organizational behavior

 
Jeffrey Pfeffer Jeffrey Pfeffer

"Stop Thinking the World is a Just Place" Jeffrey Pfeffer In his new book, Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don't

Jeffrey Pfeffer, professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University, posits that intelligence, performance, and likeability alone are not the key to moving up in an organization; instead, he asserts, self promotion, building relationships, cultivating a reputation for control and authority, and perfecting a powerful demeanor are vital drivers of advancement and success.

In the introduction, he writes: BEWARE OF THE LEADERSHIP LITERATURE

"The next obstacle you will need to overcome is the leadership literature. Most books by well-know executives and most lectures and courses about leadership should be stamped CAUTION: THIS MATERIAL CAN BE HAZARDUS TO YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL SURVIVAL. That's because leaders touting their own careers as models to be emulated frequently gloss over the power plays they actually used to get to the top."

Pfeffer's candor, crisp prose, and forthrightness are fresh and appealing. Case studies feature the careers of such leaders as G.E. CEO Jack Welch, General George Patton, Time CEO and Chairman Ann Moore, Lt. Colonel Oliver North, and President Bill Clinton; and Pfeffer dispenses advice on how to overcome obstacles like "the self-promotion" dilemma, how to sharpen one's "acting" skills on the job, and use tactics like interruption to appear more powerful. Brimming with frank, realistic insights on paths to the top, this book offers unexpected--and aggressive--directions on how to advance and flourish in an ever-more competitive workplace.

Jeffrey Pfeffer Biography

Jeffrey Pfeffer is the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University where he has taught since 1979. He is the author or co-author of thirteen books including The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First, Managing with Power: Politics and Influence in Organizations, The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge Into Action, Hidden Value: How Great Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People, Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management, and What Were They Thinking? Unconventional Wisdom About Management, a collection of 27 essays about management topics, as well as more than 120 articles and book chapters. Pfeffer's latest book, entitled Power: Why Some People Have It--and Others Don't published September, 2010 by HarperCollins.

Dr. Pfeffer received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University and his Ph.D. from Stanford. He began his career at the business school at the University of Illinois and then taught at the University of California, Berkeley. Pfeffer has been a visiting professor at the Harvard Business School, Singapore Management University, London Business School, and a frequent visitor at IESE in Barcelona.

From 2003-2007, Pfeffer wrote a monthly column, "The Human Factor," for the 600,000-person circulation business magazine, Business 2.0. Since 2007, he has written a monthly column providing career advice for Capital, a leading business and economics magazine in Turkey. Pfeffer has appeared in segments on CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, and CNBC as well as television programs in Korea, and has been quoted and featured in news articles from countries around the globe.

Pfeffer currently serves on the board of directors of the for-profit company Audible Magic as well as nonprofits Quantum Leap Healthcare and The San Francisco Playhouse. In the past he has served on the boards of Resumix, Unicru, and Workstream, all human capital software companies, and SonoSite, a company designing and manufacturing portable ultrasound machines. Pfeffer has presented seminars in 34 countries throughout the world as well as doing consulting and providing executive education for numerous companies, associations, and universities in the United States.

Jeffrey Pfeffer has won the Richard I. Irwin Award presented by the Academy of Management for scholarly contributions to management and numerous awards for articles and books.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.

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