One of the more surprising insights of Jeffrey Pfeffer’s latest book – “Power: Why some people have it and others don’t” – is the correlation between power and longevity. On the surface, it might seem that power positions equate to big responsibility and a higher level of stress. Yet, research is continually proving that “one of the better predictors of cardiovascular disease and longevity is the extent to which you control the situation for which you work.” So, to the extent that you’re able to gain power; and therefore, control the circumstances of your life; in particular your job, you will have a much diminished risk of cardiovascular disease.
As the distinguished professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, one of Jeffrey’s highest goals is to get people
“to try to become powerful.” He asserts that power is not about intelligence or likeability; rather, it requires self promotion, growing your network and becoming a really good actor. Powerful people are treated differently, are often wealthier and typically play by different rules. “Power is desirable to many, albeit not all, people, for what it can provide and also a goal in and of itself.”
Pfeffer suggests that one of the quickest paths to power is to build your network and get our of your comfort zone. “Figure out who you need to know and who’s support will be critical to your success.” As human beings, we have a tendency to stay in close contact with those we’re most comfortable with; like our friends and family. However, research repeatedly validates that those closest to us typically know the same people and likely the same information. “The way to get non-redundant information is to stay out of your comfort zone and ……”