Power Intelligence:

Insights on Power and Leadership

The Hero Trap

A few years ago, I worked with an extremely intelligent CEO named Robert (not his real name). Robert had just taken over the reins of a start-up, and under his guidance, the company doubled its revenue and added over 35 new positions. In that year, Robert changed,...

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Catching Yourself in The Act

I recently blogged about the Recode/Decode interview between Kara Fisher and Frances Frei about changing the culture at Uber (great podcast by the way). One thing that impressed me was Frei’s reluctance to embrace a zero-tolerance policy towards toxic workplace...

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Power and Organizational Culture

2017 is not yet over, but is on track to go down as one of the most natural disaster laden years on record. But there have been some spectacular man-made disasters as well, especially scandals relating to abuse of power. Here’s just a few of the headlines of this...

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The Surprising Truth About Feeling Powerless

“I sit here all day trying to persuade people to do the things they ought to have sense enough to do without my persuading them. ... That's all the powers of the President amount to.” Although that quotation is attributed to Harry Truman, any President could have said...

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Underdogs and Alpha Dogs

In his well-known book, Only the Paranoid Survive, Andy Grove, Silicon Valley pioneer and former CEO of Intel, recounts the story of the Pentium FDIV bug, an error in one of the earlier versions of the Intel Pentium processor. Intel was aware of the bug, but made the...

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Shining a Light on Misuse of Power–Is it Enough?

Earlier this year, following months of headline-generating incidents of alleged sexual harassment and gender discrimination, legal disputes, and public protests, Uber underwent a change in leadership. As new people, including former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,...

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Insiders Vs. Outsiders: Why the Open Door Isn’t

Several years ago I coached a leader and her team. They had hired two new team members and thought everything was going well. The new hires had great skills and good attitudes; they were easy to get along with, and seemed to gel with the organizational culture. Yet,...

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The shadow side of organizational culture

Last year Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins successfully defended itself against a discrimination lawsuit filed by former partner Ellen Pao by embracing a defense rooted in “culture fit.” It’s open to discussion what “organizational fit” or...

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