Blog: Want Power? Say Goodbye to Freedom

Blog: Want Power? Say Goodbye to Freedom

Want power and influence in the workplace? You can have it if you’re prepared to court it, but you can forget about freedom if that is what you want, according to management guru Jeff Pfeffer.

Pfeffer, who CIO readers met in a 2006 article about the book he co-authored with Stanford Professor Bob Sutton called Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths and Total Nonsense: Profiting From Evidence-Based Management (Harvard Business School Press), says give him freedom any day.

But for those who want to be a major power in an organization, Pfeffer will soon have a new book out on how to build up your influence at work.

Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, has published extensively in the fields of organization theory and human resource management. His Web page at Stanford says his current research focuses on the relationship between time and money, power and leadership in organizations, economics language and assumptions and their effects on management practice, how social science theories become self-fulfilling, barriers to turning knowledge into action and how to overcome them, and evidence-based management - what it is, barriers to its use, and how to implement it.

And Pfeffer’s research, according to friend Bob Sutton’s Work Matters blog, demonstrates clearly that getting power involves building relationships with people you don’t necessarily like by, for instance, taking on numerous obligations, both social and professional. It means dining with and courting enemies and those in power whenever possible. Above all it means working – hard – at gaining power and influence at every possible opportunity, however unpleasant the duties that entails and the company it forces one to keep.

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