• The Power of Giving Away Power

  • How the Best Leaders Learn to Let Go
  • By: Matthew Barzun
  • Narrated by: Matthew Barzun
  • Length: 4 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (162 ratings)

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The Power of Giving Away Power

By: Matthew Barzun
Narrated by: Matthew Barzun
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Publisher's summary

“This book is a breakthrough. It’s beautifully written, perfectly timed and heralds a new way forward. I’m buying a dozen copies to share with friends and colleagues.” (Seth Godin, Founder of altMBA and author of The Practice)

If you let go of hierarchy, chaos will reign...or so many leaders believe.

But when leaders find the courage to distribute rather than hoard power, creativity multiplies, trust deepens, and inclusivity expands...and a new kind of order emerges.

A few rare leaders have learned to embrace a new organizational shape and mindset: Constellations. Organizations designed as constellations are dynamic and flexible networks of distinct yet interwoven individuals. Each member of the team feels like a singular star and is also connected to others to form something greater. That is how Visa reimagined how we pay for things, how Wikipedia beat the richest company in the world and how Barack Obama and his grassroots team revolutionized political campaigning. These leaders did what most leaders dread - they gave away power.

Barzun brilliantly layers lessons across history and industries with his own experiences as an internet entrepreneur, political organizer, and US ambassador to the United Kingdom and Sweden. The Power of Giving Away Power shows how the Constellation mindset shines in some of the most impactful organizations and innovations the world has ever known. And it encourages us all to recognize, as Barzun writes, "the power we can create by seeing the power in others" - and making the leap to lead. Together.

©2021 Matthew Barzun (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

“He can indeed make his constellation theory sound appealing.... The Power of Giving Away Power is surprisingly (and refreshingly) nonpartisan.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“Bravo. These are ideas that can heal and inspire in a time when we are suspicious, tribal, at each others’ throats.” (Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker)

“Matthew Barzun might well be the first modest man to write a great book on leadership. This is a gift." (Richard Thaler, Nobel Prize Laureate and coauthor of Nudge)