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When reading this book it wasn't exactly what I had in mind before reading it. Although I was still able to take away many things from this book. Below are my highlights from POWER!

  • Most people do not like to admit that they want power, which is why they never get it, and those who do have power go to endless lengths to mask the fact. (7)

  • "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." (9)

  • It must in some sense be assumed, taken, asserted. For unless it can be held against opposition, it is not power and will never be experienced as real on the part of the recipient. (15)

  • He as lost the power game in being given power. (16)

  • It is not enough to want power, or even have it. It must be used creatively. And it must be enjoyed. (17)

  • The main thing is to be silent, impassive, alert in appearance and yet at the same time, visible. (21)

  • "I don't want my name on the screen because credit is something that should be given to others. If you are in a position to give credit to yourself, then you do not need it." -Monroe Stahr (32)

  • "Power is best used quietly, without attracting attention." (32)

  • People who enjoy the public appearance of power can rise very fast. They become starts, celebrities in their own small worlds, they build their own legends by wielding power openly; they are born leaders. (33)

  • "To ratify good decisions, not make them, to orchestrate people." (37)

  • "These things aren't personal. What I want to know is not why are you down, its When are you going to be up? Give me the how, not the why." (37)

  • "You have to take the job seriously, but not take yourself seriously. Otherwise work is a drudge." (38)

  • "With power comes responsibility," he says intently. "When you have a string on the company-it has a string on you." (39)

  • Lots of people like to be feared, and don't feel they have power unless they are. Aggression is their strategy; anger is their favourite weapon. (40)

  • Most people are happy to follow a strong lead, even if its in the wrong direction. (40)

  • The trick is to make people do what you want them to do and like it, to persuade them that they want what you want. (41)

  • "Energy is the basic requirement of power." (45)

  • the ability to decide where to put your time becomes critical. If you're really good at picking people, you use your power through them without stifling them. (47)

  • Height means something to people, and it's wise not to forget it. (60)

  • we associate power and health. (61)

  • Constipation is often the price of power, perhaps because powerful people are not only anxious to control everything, but determines not to let go of anything. (61)

  • Blood pressure and serum cholesterol both increase among those who have "responsibility for others" in a working situation. (62)

  • "The natural warrior" (64)

  • "We have sex education-why don't we have power education? You can train yourself to handle power." (65)

  • A man who has to win every battle is asking the impossible of himself and the world, and is likely to collapse the first time he encounters defeat. A powerful man, by definition, is able to survive failure and humiliation, to draw some deeper wisdom from them, to practice what John F. Kennedy called "grace under pressure." (66)

  • Self-pity is not an emotion one connect with a sense of power. (67)

  • Often we look for power where there is only fear, greed and self-interest. (68)

  • Nothing is static; every action makes us more or less than we were before. (68)

Power Lines

  • The closer one is to the centre, the less powerful one is. (75)

  • Corner to corner in an x-shape (75)

  • The conference room, should be in the centre of the office. (76)

  • their power position may protect them. (77)

  • power is dependent on her ability to see who is approaching. (79)

  • If the view is important, so is proximity. In most cases, power diminishes with distance. Put someone's assistant next to his superior's office, and he benefits from being close to the source of power. Promote the assistant to a larger office that is further away, and his power is likely to decrease. Only if he is given a title and a job that allows him to create his own power base can he benefit from moving. (80)

  • It's the proximity to power that counts, not space, a carpet, or a window. (80)

Power Areas

  • Part of the territorial power game consists of making surreptitious inroads on your neighbour's space or seizing neutral ground with a token force. (86)

  • an office would probably be white and dark blue, with perhaps a small hint of red to inspire fear. (91)

The Power Dynamics of Office Parties

  • The powerful people will move to the corners (96)

  • Those who fail push their way back out to the door, in the hope of attracting passers-by, but this is a sign of defeat, and people who are reduced to this position normally leave the party early, pleading work or a headache. (96)

  • In these circumstances, powerful people rarely sit down. Sitting at this type of social function is a kind of defeat, not only because it projects fatigue and a general lack of energy, but also because it prevents movement and puts the sitter at a disadvantage in terms of height. (98)

  • One can easily assess the relative importance of senior executives by watching their behaviour at parties. Those who are most sure of themselves find a corner; those less sure of themselves place themselves in the middle of the traffic stream; the least secure players circulate around the room, avoiding the corners, which are already occupies, but attempting to form a circle of followers large enough to give them a visible constituency of their own. In almost every case, such people will move in a counter-clockwise circle, starting from the point of entry. (98)

Gossip Power

  • Gossip has always come in for a bad press, and the person who is interested in power should certainly avoid gossiping to anyone. (102)

  • one of the first rules of playing the power game is that all bad news must be accepted calmly, as if one already knew and didn't much care. (103)

  • Table of organization (TOO) (109)

  • it is worth looking at the order in which groups of people enter elevators (115)

  • In general people enter the elevator by seniority and leave in the order of their relative positions in the power structure. (115)

  • The person whose meeting it is (all meetings are the property of somebody) (116)

  • The order of power is almost always clockwise (116)

  • You owe it to yourself to be informed. (120)

  • Kronsteen was not interested in human beings... Nor did the categories "good" and "bad" have any place in his vocabulary. To him all people were chess pieces. He was only interested in their reactions to the movement of other pieces." -Ian Fleming (122)

  • "action makes more fortunes than caution." (123)

  • It takes a really powerful man to play the game of weakness to ultimate victory. (124)

  • "There is nothing that helps a man in his conduct through life more than a knowledge of his own characteristic weaknesses."-William Hazlitt (125)

  • When it comes to raises, the smaller the amount involved, the more difficult it is to put through. (126)

  • The best way to get a big raise is to already be making a lot of money. (126)

  • They have turned humiliation into a productive and profitable system. (128)

  • Who used the simple, but effective, device of asking importunate women to bring him three aspiring before she has a chance to say whatever is on her mind. The trick is to get ones claim as a victim in before she can put hers in, to show that one is oneself weak, powerless, miserable, to join in her complaints rather than allowing oneself, by a show of authority, to be put in the position of having to answer them. (130)

  • Shamelessness is the key to winning weakness games. (133)

  • "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." "When the going gets tough, the tough get smart." (134)

  • Many people don't feel comfortable unless they encounter opposition - if they ask someone to do something and it's done without protest, they feel they've asked for too little.e (136)

  • It is always better to respond to a question with another question, and very important to avoid being the first to mention a specific date or sum of money. (136)

  • would rather be tough than right. (137)

  • People who don't talk tough very often get ahead of those who do. (138)

  • Expand, Don't Climb! (139)

  • Upward progress can only be made one step at a time, each step taken means abandoning the one below it. (141)

  • Worse, you have to abandon what you have in order to reach for what you want, thus increasing your risk of falling off and landing back in the heap at the foot of the ladder. (141)

  • He adds to his jobs and titles and responsibilities. (142)

  • The trick is to learn how to delegate without giving up responsibility, until one is finally responsible for everything without having to do anything. (142)

  • This device (your opinion vs. my fact) is remarkable effective. (151)

  • Controlling information has an additional advantage as a game of power. (153)

  • nobody is indispensable (156)

  • The moment you think you're indispensable, you're doing too much work for what they pay you. It's a loser's game. (156)

  • Meetings which do not occur at one person's whim but take place by schedule, automatically become invested with magic significance. They symbolize the soul and the continuity of the tribe. (177)

  • For the power player, the accounts must be balanced if possible, but if they can't be, then nothing must be owed. (185)

  • We shake hands to prove that we are not carrying weapons in our right hands, we rise to our feet at the approach of a stranger to our table, not out of politeness, but because our ancestors couldn't draw their swords from a sitting position. (186)

  • The best thing you can do is to tell them they deserve more. (198)

  • You come with nothing in your hands because what you're bringing isn't expertise, or information, but the right to say yes or no. The guy who has the right to say yes or no. The guy who has the power is the one who walks in empty-handed. (226)

  • Power, let it be remembered, moves in direct lines. (233)

  • A full calendar is proof of power. (245)

  • The definition of power, in fact, is that more people inconvenience themselves on your behalf than those on whose behalf you would inconvenienced yourself. (247)

Women and Power

  • Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little. -Samuel Johnson (251)

  • Get the power; then the money comes by itself. (281)

  • A straight chair is more powerful than a large armchair. (283)

  • "Men mostly want you to get out of their offices as fast as possible, so you can often get what you want by just going in and asking for it. The big thing is to sit down, put your handbag on the floor and look as if you might stay there forever. The handbag is important. Men have a horror of handbags, for some reason, and the sight of one in an office, particularly if you can put it right smack on the desk, tends to distract them." (288)

  • A women doesn't have to do anything but be a women. (288)

Power Rules

  • Few learn how to use the world, instead of being used by it. (296)

  • "The first rule: is simple. Act impeccably! Perform every act as if it were the only thing in the world that mattered." (302)

  • "Second rule: never reveal all of yourself to other people, hold something back in reserve so that people are never quite sure if they really know you." (302)

  • remaining slightly mysterious (302)

  • It is important to give up the self-indulgent habit of talking about oneself. The power person listens instead, and when he does talk about himself. (303)

  • Nobody really knows the truth about him, and he is therefore respected. Once we know everything about a person, we have squeezed him dry like a juiced orange, he is no longer of any use or interest to us, we can throw him away. (303)

  • "Third rule: learn to use time, think of it as a friend, not an enemy. Don't waste it in going after things you don't want." (303)

  • Events do not control them - they control events. (304)

  • "Fourth rule: learn to accept your mistakes. Don't be a perfectionist about everything." (304)

  • "Last rule: don't make waves, move smoothly without disturbing things." (304)

  • "The love of power is the move of ourselves." (305)

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