Dying for our payday
Jeffrey mentions this New York Times article about the stress of someone in the legal profession.
His book Power has become a global best seller largely because it is a manual for the Machiavellian. It’s a modern day version of Niccolò Machiavelli’s 16th century book The Prince. It’s not that Pfeffer believes this is what we should behave like to be our best selves but rather if we don’t behave like this we’re going to be exploited.
In the course notes for Jeffrey’s stanford class on power he says that “insufficient sensitivity to and skill coping with power have cost Stanford graduates promotions opportunities and even their jobs”.
Fundamentally the mistake we’re all making according to Pfeffer is believing that the world is fair. I know I’m guilty of this. Whether you watch US politics or British politics but I certainly find myself looking at current events thinking that a reckoning will come when the good guys will win and sort things out. Spoiler alert. The good guys don’t win. And the source for that point is history.
Pfeffer’s belief is that in business they don’t win so arm yourself. He believes that leaders often ascend to their position not through an innate goodness but because they understand the rules of power.