Author and business management expert Philip Delves Broughton also writes for the Financial Times and his article ‘The path to power and how to use it’ makes an interesting read. Taking into consideration the writings and research of various others, Philip explores why power has such bad connotations in the business world today and why it is that “it is not just our attitude to power that is changing. It is the nature of power itself…”
Although companies prefer to use softer terms such as ‘influence’, Philip notes that within any organisation it is clear to all who has power and who doesn’t; we still understand what it means and what it can achieve.
Philip discusses the idea of ‘power deficiency’, coined by Jean-Louis Barsoux and Cyril Bouquet, and their strategies of ‘play the game or change the game’. He also draws from the 1976 article ‘Power is the Great Motivator’ which describes three motivational groups of managers and reveals that those who were most interested in power were the most effective. Finally, Philip looks to the “far darker vision of managerial power” proposed by Jeffrey Pfeffer, which encourages people to “get real” and ignore the barriers that stand in the way of gaining power.
To conclude, Philip acknowledges that “Call it what you like, raw power, its acquisition and use, still count in business.”
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