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Publication Date: April 07, 2020

Acting with Power

Why We Are More Powerful Than We Believe

By Deborah Gruenfeld

An eye-opening look at the true nature of power.

In a book based on her popular class at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, Gruenfeld reveals what we get wrong about power: why we have more than we believe, and how we can learn to use the power we have, better, by borrowing from the techniques of actors.

Like actors, we all make choices about how to use the power that comes with our given circumstances. The problem is that we harbor so many misconceptions about how power actually works. While everyone feels powerless at one time or another, we all have more power than we realize. And success in life depends not on how much power we have, but on how we use it.

We tend to believe that the most powerful people are those who command the room or dominate in every interaction. But this too is mistaken. Often, these aggressive kinds of power moves show weakness, not strength. And sometimes using power well means stepping out of the spotlight instead of trying to steal the show.

It's hard to get comfortable with the roles we play in life. Some of us always crave a bigger part, while many of us feel like imposters in our current ones. Acting with Power inspires us to show up as the best version of ourselves, in any role. Readers will learn:

What power is, what it isn't, and why the difference matters
How to read a room to figure out where you fit in - and how to stand out
Techniques for "getting into character" in a new role
When and why power corrupts
How to disarm a bully
How leaders can inspire powerful performances in others

Everyone knows what it means to use power badly. This is a book about what it means to use power well.

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