7 Rules of Power: Surprising--but True--Advice on How to Get Things Done and Advance Your Career

7 Rules of Power: Surprising--but True--Advice on How to Get Things Done and Advance Your Career

by Jeffrey Pfeffer
7 Rules of Power: Surprising--but True--Advice on How to Get Things Done and Advance Your Career

7 Rules of Power: Surprising--but True--Advice on How to Get Things Done and Advance Your Career

by Jeffrey Pfeffer


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If you want to "change lives, change organizations, change the world," the Stanford business school’s motto, you need power.

Is power the last dirty secret or the secret to success? Both. While power carries some negative connotations, power is a tool that can be used for good or evil. Don’t blame the tool for how some people used it.

If fully understood and harnessed effectively, power skills and understanding become the keys to increasing salaries, job satisfaction, career advancement, organizational change, and, happiness. In 7 Rules of Power, Jeffrey Pfeffer, professor of organizational behavior at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, provides the insights that have made both his online and on-campus classes incredibly popular—with life-changing results often achieved in 8 or 10 weeks.

Rooted firmly in social science research, Pfeffer’s 7 rules provide a manual for increasing your ability to get things done, including increasing the positive effects of your job performance.

The 7 rules are:
1) Get out of your own way.
2) Break the rules.
3) Show up in powerful fashion.
4) Create a powerful brand.
5) Network relentlessly.
6) Use your power.
7) Understand that once you have acquired power, what you did to get it will be forgiven, forgotten, or both.

With 7 Rules of Power, you’ll learn, through both numerous examples as well as research evidence, how to accomplish change in your organization, your life, the lives of others, and the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781637741221
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 06/07/2022
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 125,385
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

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.

Dr. Pfeffer received his BS and MS degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University and his PhD from Stanford. He began his career at the business school at the University of Illinois and then taught for six years at the University of California, Berkeley. Pfeffer has been a visiting professor at the Harvard Business School, Singapore Management University, London Business School, Copenhagen Business School, and for the past 14 years a visitor at IESE in Barcelona.

Dr. Pfeffer has presented seminars in 40 countries throughout the world as well as doing consulting and providing executive education for numerous companies, associations, and universities in the United States. Additionally, Dr. Pfeffer has won the Richard D. Irwin Award presented by the Academy of Management for scholarly contributions to management and numerous awards for his articles and books. He is in the Thinkers 50 Hall of Fame and has been listed as one of the "Most Influential HR International Thinkers" by HR Magazine. In November, 2011, he was presented with an honorary doctorate degree from Tilburg University in The Netherlands.

Table of Contents

In the Beginning: The Challenge of Power xi

Introduction: Power, Getting Things Done, and Career Success 1

Rule 1 Get Out of Your Own Way 19

Rule 2 Break the Rules 45

Rule 3 Appear Powerful 65

Rule 4 Build a Powerful Brand 87

Rule 5 Network Relentlessly 107

Rule 6 Use Your Power 127

Rule 7 Success Excuses (Almost) Everything: Why This Is the Most Important Rule of All 143

Coda: Staying on the Path to Power 173

Acknowledgments 183

Endnotes 187

Index 209

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Dr. Pfeffer has written the ultimate book on power that avoids the traps of conventional theories on leadership . . .  Beautifully written and full of poignant stories and examples, 7 Rules of Power is my recommended read for anyone looking to radically change the trajectory of their life for good.”
—Marshall Goldsmith, Thinkers 50 #1 Executive Coach and New York Times Bestselling Author of Mojo and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
“Like a rousing slap of truth in the face, Pfeffer’s tough-minded, capstone book on power identifies 7 research-based, reality-revealing rules for hierarchical success.  Anyone hoping to rise within an organization needs to obtain power and, therefore, needs to read this brilliant book.”
—Robert Cialdini, author of Influence and Pre-Suasion
7 Rules of Power delivers easy-to-digest, practical tips for how you can be more powerful in your own life. Using real-life examples of individuals altering their lives by following his rules, Pfeffer delivers his message with humor and humanity.  Pfeffer shows us how often we give away our power and how we can reclaim it.”
—Deborah Liu, author of Take Back Your Power, CEO of Ancestry, board member of Intuit, former Vice President at Facebook, and founder of Women in Product
“Jeff Pfeffer’s latest leadership masterpiece is as brilliantly insightful as it is refreshingly candid and pragmatic, anchored in cutting edge scholarship . . . There is simply no competitor to the highly readable, smart, wide-ranging take on power in 7 Rules of Power.”
—Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, founder and CEO of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute; Lester Crown Professor at Yale School of Management and Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Studies
“Dr. Pfeffer’s 7 Rules of Power is a must read and highly useful for anyone at any stage of their career . . . It still stir your thinking and truly change your perspective.”
—Stacy Brown-Philpot, former CEO, TaskRabbit, Board member, HP, Inc., and Nordstrom, Forbes 40 under 40; former head of Google’s online sales and operations in India
“The lessons from 7 Rules of Power will take a lifetime to fully implement. The book provides the lens through which I view the decisions and behaviors of those around me. Most importantly, Pfeffer has taught me that to win the game, changing the rules trumps raw effort.”
—Vivas Kumar, CEO and Co-Founder, Mitra Chem, Stanford GSB 2021
“When I started reading 7 Rules of Power, I had a long list of assumptions about leadership and building influence.  With each chapter, more pieces of the power puzzle fell into place.  By trying the strategies from the book, I founded a consulting company where I leveraged my 20+ years of professional experience to provide research, innovation, and strategy advice.”  
—Monika Stezewska-Kruk, CEO Corvus Innovation, Executive Coach and Facilitator, Stanford LEAD program graduate
7 Rules of Power will shoot you to the moon and beyond. This book changed my life . . . I created a unique brand for myself, and now I represent my organization abroad. Usually the only black woman in the room, 7 Rules of Power gave me an edge.”
—Tosin Joel, Stanford LEAD, MIT Sloan Fellow, Director, Hack for Inclusion, Founder, GTBOOL, Project Head, Eni
“Ideas from 7 Rules of Power helped me design and live my dream career as a digital health expert.  This book is a must-have for minorities and people seeking to have social impact, because we tend to shy away from the concept of power.  7 Rules reframes power and provides tactical, practical tools to actually change the world!”
—Marta Milkowska, Stanford GSB 2020; Consultant at Boston Consulting Group, Interim CEO at Reveri Health, Founder of Dtx Future, first Stanford platform on digital therapeutics
“After a lifetime of being the collaborator, team player, and ‘nice’ person, Pfeffer’s 7 Rules of Power taught me that power is not about control or greed—it is about effectiveness . . .  The lessons have been transformational in my venture capital career and continue to guide my personal and professional path.”
—Laura Chau, Stanford GSB 2018, Partner Canaan Partners, Forbes 30 Under 30, Board Member Ollie Pets, Clutch

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