Soundview Executive Book Summaries

The Search for Personal Power

From time to time I like to point out a trend we’re noticing in the business books that come across our desks at Soundview, like innovation or leadership. But there are also trends in book titles. Book titles are what sell a book, and so they reveal what authors and publishers think are the greatest needs of their audience – the hot-button issues.

Most recently we’ve seen quite a few books that include “power” in the title. Here are a few examples:

Power is defined as the ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something; strength; might; force, the possession of control or command over others; authority; ascendancy.

I’m no psychologist, but it would seem that in a period of economic instability, high unemployment, and rapid change, business people may be looking for a way to have some control over the world around them. Gaining power in business situations is one answer.

Power Listening helps you to shape (control) any conversation. Power Questions help you influence others. Power Habits can transform you to succeed. A Power Reputation can make your career. And the Power of Presence can unlock your potential to influence and engage others.

Do you see the common thread? The authors writing these books believe that we want to be in control of our situation and that they have the answers. They may be right if book sales are any measure. The Power of Habit is #7 on Amazon today. And a quick search of our archives brought up over 37 additional titles about power.

Are you looking for power and control in your current situation? Then you might want to check out these titles. And if you find that books like these provide what they promise, let me know.


1 Comment so far
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This is a fascinating observation you make about book titles and economic uncertainty. Interestingly, the “Power” in the title of our book, “Power Questions,” (Sobel/Panas, Wiley 2012) refers more to giving power to the other person and to your conversation than giving power to yourself. For example, you might ask a distracted customer, “What’s the most important thing we should be discussing right now?” That’s a power question that really empowers the other person to focus your conversation on their biggest issues.

Comment by Andrew Sobel

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