- [-] Other Available FormatsOur PriceNew & Used MarketplaceThe Power Paradox (Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged)
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks$35.00
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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-06-06
- Reviewer: Staff
Keltner, a UC Berkeley psychology professor, takes an innovative look at the idea of power. The titular paradox is that gaining power often causes people to misuse that power and lose it. The book explores why this pattern is so common. Keltner writes about lab experiments in which researchers arbitrarily bestowed roles of superiority on test subjects, who then showed more impulsive and selfish behaviors. Other studies found that people who had grown up poor showed greater empathy than those who grew up with more advantages. Meanwhile, powerlessness has been found to invoke stress responses that lead to slowed development in children and poor health in adults. To counteract this dynamic, Keltner proposes a "fivefold path" composed of self-awareness, humility, generosity, respect, and a commitment to positive social change. He reframes what can seem like an intractable problem in terms that are approachable and solvable: "When I was in my twenties, steeped in the utopian idealism of youth, I wished for a society that would be power free.... This book has changed my view." Power defines daily experience; therefore, he argues, solving this paradox is imperative. His paradigm-shifting book challenges readers to find a new level of awareness about themselves and the leaders they choose to follow. (May)