Here are just a few examples of recent designs from the Keep Calm-o-Matic creative community. There are certain goals in modern society that have been politically incorrect, maligned, and judged as morally contemptuous.
I myself used to think that office politics was silly, that the way to rise to the top in any organization is to be good at your job. Funny enough, Pfeffer uses the entire book to discuss how to acquire power and never formally gives a definition of what it is. Power is a measurement of an entity’s ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other entities (Wikipedia article on Power). A leader is someone who causes people to do that which they ought to do but which they would not do in his absence.
Though I don’t want to get into every single method he describes in the book, I would like to describe a few of the chapters that I imagine would be the most useful for people looking to start a start-up. All of these techniques are designed to ensure that you’re meeting and developing relationships with people who will be in a position to help you. For a start-up founder, these techniques will be super useful as they will mainly require your time, (which you have) and very little money (which you probably don’t have).
Doing these things may not get me my top notch team of co-founders or funding right away, but I’ll definitely be in a better position to do so.
The reason I was able to get my current job was because I met a fellow entrepreneur at the Portland Seed Fund Launch. This is one of those chapters that I think is important no matter what kind of career you’re in. The most important section of this chapter is Pfeffer’s point that image will become reality.
This book was fascinating and probably most useful to those looking to rise within an already established organization i.e. From a general success point of view, Power does an excellent job of convincing you that you must ultimately look out for your own professional well being and that power is often the key to professional success. The Ancient Wisdom ProjectI'm now spending most of my time blogging for my new site, The Ancient Wisdom Project.
The Ancient Wisdom Project is a series of experiments in which I dedicate 30-day periods to practicing, studying, and reflecting on a single ancient philosophy or religion with the hopes of achieving personal growth. Click through to see more designs, create your own, share designs and purchase customised products. I thought (and to an extent still think) that you should not work for any organization in which merit and professional competence were not the core values and basis. Focus – While learning to acquire power, try to stay in one industry, put more energy into a limited set of skills, narrow down your efforts to things that matter to your company. Once you do a favor for someone or help them out in someway, you create  in the person you helped an extraordinary need to reciprocate.
That would be a good opportunity to help him directly, or put him in touch with someone who is good at marketing.


If you appear outwardly powerful, people will think you’re powerful and treat you as such. If you portray yourself as successful and powerful, people will treat you as such and you will then become successful and powerful.
Brand new start-up, no funding, no employees: In this situation, you have very few resources. Start-up with funding: You are no longer without resources, however,  you did lose some control and power over your company.
Like Michael Ellsberg, Pfeffer encourages you to be deliberate in achieving your goals and not taking a passive approach to achieving your goals.
It’s unfashionable to say that your primary interest in life is yourself (even though most people behave this way most of the time).
If you shrink away from a fight, you will never win the fight and probably won’t get your way. Since neither party is precisely calculating the value of the favor, it tends to create a more generalized obligation to return the favor. I used to be averse to networking, mostly because I kept considering it as a purely professional and boring thing.
He saw that I was working on a travel start-up and introduced me to the general manager of BootsnAll. This means you need to be the connector and have something people want (knowledge, contacts, etc). Is it deception when you’re not actually powerful or you’re conveying confidence when things are falling apart?
This kind of reminds me of the running joke where the executive makes sure the guest chair in his office is very short. You should a) use interruptions, b) contest the premises of the discussion, c) and use persuasive language. He discusses the power of the first impression and how to use bad information in your favor. That being said, I think different parts of this book becomes relevant at different stages of the start-up. Most of your time will be spent building a product, launching it, testing it, and improving it.
However, it’s still extremely useful for those looking to do great things in the world which I believe many entrepreneurs want to do.
If you went to a party and said that you are looking to acquire power, you would probably get yelled at and lose a few friends.
Energy is also a signaling mechanism for traits like organizational commitment and loyalty. If you are exceptionally intelligent, be aware that this can lead to overconfidence and a decrease in ability to empathize with others. Yes, initially, but confidence and being outwards powerful tends to become self-fulfilling.


If you look tired in front of your start-up team, they will think you are disinterested or disengaged.
If you need to inspire confidence but appear humble, recall events where you made mistakes but learned from them.
Pfeffer spends some time on this section but it would unfortunately take too long to cover it here.
So long as your flaws and quirks are irrelevant to the core of your reputation, that’ll help. You will have to learn to inspire confidence and project power with both your employees and your investors.
While I’m still not a huge fan of giant networking events, I do enjoy one on one coffee meetings because it allows me to be a real person. Don’t make self-deprecating jokes until you are already regarded as highly competent. Steve Jobs was brilliant but he certainly wasn’t the easiest person to get along with. In my personal experience, being a real person and giving someone your full attention is personally rewarding and can often lead to other meaningful and helpful contacts. He had a choice to work in a corner cubicle that was quiet and had little traffic, or a small workstation outside one of the partner’s office, which had no walls or privacy. I wonder if fundraising efforts and meetings would go better if they dressed more professionally. What I find helpful is to pause, and ask a question instead when it’s a one on one meetup. He picked the latter by chance and he was soon interacting with numerous people looking to meet with the partners. That is why celebrity documentaries try so hard to show some flaws but nothing that would effect their reputation as a brilliant performer. The section on networking and creating resources out of nothing will serve you well, especially if you’re looking for funding. If you’re the founder, learning to manage power dynamics within your company will be important. He created the most important Portland tech blog where he became the funnel for local tech news. This blog also led Rick into relationships that allowed him to create PIE , Portland’s latest tech incubator backed by the famous Weiden Kennedy and its clients, Nike, Coca-Cola, and Target.



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