War is no way to resolve our most problematic group, community, and societal issues, but neither is a peace that simply sweeps our problems under the rug. To create lasting change, we have to learn to work fluidly with two distinct, fundamental drives that are in tension: power - the single-minded desire to achieve one's solitary purpose - and love - the drive toward unity.... They are seemingly contradictory but in fact complimentary. As Martin Luther King put it, "Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic."
Using revealing stories from complex situations he has been involved in all over the world - the Middle East, South Africa, Europe, India, Guatemala, the Philippines, Australia, Canada, and the United States - Kahane reveals how to dynamically balance these two forces. Just as when we are toddlers we learn to shift from one foot to the other to move ourselves forward, so we can learn to shift back and forth between power and love in order to move society forward.
©2010 Adam Morris Kahane (P)2012 Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Listening to Power and Love was a joyful and insightful ride. It touched my heart and head. Social change obviously is never easy, and Adam’s humble accounts of his failures just brought into a brighter light his great successes. It is, as he says at the beginning of the book, a personal and universal journey – as Adam matures as a person and consultant, so does a whole new field of social transformation. But, actually, the book subtitle – A Theory and Practice of Social Change – is understated. It should say “A Theory and Practice of Any Change”, because all change has a social component. When I am facilitating change at a C-level Board, for example, I see Marketing, Finance, Operations, HR, Legal etc. executives working more like different stakeholders than colleagues facing important company issues, and Adam’s learnings of bringing power and love together are just as useful.
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