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Power Moves: Lessons from Davos | Adam Grant | The Litertarian
Power is defined as the capacity to effect other people. And it can be intoxicating. A few months ago, Audible began including two extra credits a month to spend on a small selection of hand picked titles, which are usually, if not always, exclusive to Audible. It adds great value to the membership, and also challenges listeners to peek out of their comfort zones to try new things (at least it has for me). In January, one of the titles I chose was Power Moves: Lessons from Davos, by Adam Grant. It had really high reviews, it was highly ranked, and it felt very low risk. I figured at the very worst it would probably seem like a series of Ted Talks, and how could that be a bad thing? Davos, for those of you wondering, is a World Economic Forum held in Davos Switzerland. I did not know this going in, so I kept hearing Davos and had to glean what I could from context. Apparently I’m not up and up on political and business elite goings on. Basically it’s a meeting of the minds, except the minds are all of the most powerful people in the world. So yeah, probably a pretty interesting place to conduct some interviews. This production, similar to West Cork by Sam Bungey & Jennifer Forde (found here on Audible), was made for audio. There is a higher production quality, with clips and music mixed in seamlessly. The actual interviews make up most of the content of the book, cut up and arranged beautifully so they hit home exactly when they need to in the context of each chapter. Really, the editing was impressive. The chapters are organized by topic, and there are interesting and modern discussions in each one, as follows:: 1 | Power Reveals[Types of power, How power can be used, & How power changes a person] 2 | Women In Power[Statistics about the imbalance of power between men & women, how it is changing, and what we, as women, can do to help ourselves] 3 | Team Power[The power of networks, and how to lead within a team] 4 | Culture Change[How company culture is powerful, and ideas on how to make it more meaningful and pleasant for employees] 5 | Robot Power[Artificial Intelligence and how it may disrupt the economy] 6 | Power to Truth[Informational Power and the responsibility of those with power to make sure they effect positive change for those without power.] One aspect I really enjoyed was the very last section of each chapter, where Grant lays out some practical tips relating to each topic. They are tips for how to get new power, or how to better leverage the power you currently have. He goes into lots of relevant statistics of things that work and breaks down how to accomplish them in our own lives. For example, how to be a successful leader in group projects, negotiating at work, having your leadership noticed by those around you, etc. Like I said in the opening, power is the capacity to effect other people, and it can be gained in two ways, dominance or respect. You can be either a giver, or a taker and still be powerful. There are situations in which statistically one type of leader is more effective than the other (yes, givers make good leaders too), but it is almost always better for givers and takers to work together. They get more done, and it is easier to effect change. Diversity people, in all things. Two of the interviews really stood out to me. The first was with David Winter, a psychologist who has worked for years analyzing the speeches of American Presidents (some of the most powerful people in the world) to find out how they score within different types of power. It helps to reveal their motivations, and even predicts what type of leader they will be, for example, how likely we are to go to war during their presidency. He analyzes the last four presidents and compares them to past leaders. However, my favorite interview in the book, and I think it was Grant’s as well, was Kerry Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy’s daughter. She works as a human rights activist, carrying on her father’s legacy, and speaks to the importance of empowering the next generation. She outlines lesson plans her foundation makes for schools to adopt in order to teach children to be informed, but more importantly, that they can do things to effect change when they see something wrong in the world. I listened to it twice, and both times, I cried. It’s a powerful interview. Those kids have power, and so do all of us; the power of our dollar, the power of our voices, the power of our own actions. It inspires me to be more informed of what my dollar is paying for – is it inadvertently supporting child slavery or child labor? Because if you’re not buying free-trade CHOCOLATE, then you just might be. I had no idea. It’s so easy to walk into a nicely lighted, air conditioned grocery store with more food than some people in the world could even imagine being in one place, and we don’t know where these products come from. All we know is what the marketing companies want us to know, and all they want is that dollar. So hey, if you still have one of your audible monthly credits leftover, you should probably spend it on this. And if you don’t have an audible subscription, you can still get this book. It’s only 3 hours long, you can listen to it while you’re cleaning, or while you’re in the car, and a guarantee it’ll make you think of yourself and the world a little bit differently. As the tagline says, “Own your power and flourish in a changing world.” Audio Length | 3 Hours, 3 MinutesPublishing Date | January 3rd, 2019Goodreads Page | Power MovesAudible Link | Audiobook