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Discover How to Tap the Many Sources of Power — Interpersonal, Organizational, and Internal — for Success

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THE ELEMENTS OF POWER: Lessons on Leadership and Influence

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — What makes powerful people powerful? It’s a critical question for not only CEOs and politicians, but also mid-level managers, small business owners, professionals, and everyone whose job depends on the ability to gain others’ agreement or cooperation, stimulate action, and get results.

“I find it helpful to think of power as a battery,” explains Terry R. Bacon , a recognized thought leader on leadership. “Like the cells in batteries, we have a number of sources of power. Some of our power sources will be stronger than others, and they form, if you will, a mosaic of the power we can bring to bear in different situations. … The more power we have, the more influence we are capable of exerting in our domain and beyond.” In THE ELEMENTS OF POWER: Lessons on Leadership and Influence (AMACOM; $27.95 Hardcover), Bacon sheds light on eleven sources of power that contribute to a powerful person’s impact on a company, a movement, history, or individual lives. Filled with insights into strengthening each power source and avoiding power drains, he presents an energizing model for organizational leaders at all levels who want to increase their voltage.

Drawing on wide-ranging, groundbreaking research into the nature of power, including the author’s extensive original studies, THE ELEMENTS OF POWER delves into five personal and five organizational sources of power, plus one “meta-source”: will. With glowing examples to guide them, thought-provoking questions and scenarios to challenge them, and cautionary tales about the abuse of power to keep them grounded, readers will discover:

  • Why knowledge is power and so are creative talents, technical skills, and “street smarts.”
  • How expressive power — the command of language — is one of the greatest sources of power.
  • Why history power extends beyond personal relationships to virtual and fantasy connections.
  • Why character power — the power derived from others’ perceptions of your honesty, integrity, courage, and other esteemed qualities — matters much more than people imagine.
  • Why role and resource power isn’t always defined by job title.
  • How network power is not only who you know, but also what sources of power they have and how accessible they are.
  • How the power of reputation can be a tremendous asset and transcend your organization.
  • Why will power — the power with the stuff to magnify every other source of power — comes from within and is the hallmark of authentic leadership.
  • Why power doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and how power tends to ebb and flow among individuals, teams, and divisions within organizations.

Throughout, “Portraits in Power” — celebrating journalist Fareed Zakaria, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, Chinese movie star and World Wide Web sensation Xu Jinglei, homeless activist Sister Mary Scullion, award-winning post-operative specialist Dr. Peter Pronovost, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, acclaimed poet Maya Angelou, Bill Gates, and President Barack Obama among other notable leaders — offer abundant inspiration. The book culminates with a Power Sources Self-Assessment to help readers measure the relative strength of their own power sources, complemented by strategies for building up their weaknesses and alerts to common pitfalls and practices that can diminish their strengths.

Enlightening, engaging, and truly empowering, THE ELEMENTS OF POWER is a source book for executives, managers, and everyone called to influence and lead others in the best ways possible.  It was recently named one of the “11 Best Business Books for CIOs in 2011” by CIO Insight.


Terry R. Bacon , PhD, has been a thought leader, coach, and consultant to global businesses in leadership, management, and interpersonal skills for more than thirty years. In 1989, he founded Lore International Institute, a widely respected executive development firm acquired in 2008 by Korn/Ferry International, where he currently serves as Scholar in Residence in the Korn/Ferry Institute. A highly sought after speaker and prolific writer, he is the author of numerous books, including What People Want, Adaptive Coaching, and Powerful Proposals. He lives in Durango, Colorado, and Kamuela, Hawaii.

To learn more about Terry R. Bacon and Korn/Ferry International,,,, and   Also see Terry’s author page on  For more information about the power and influence research and frameworks, see

Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in this book are those of the author only, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Korn/Ferry International.

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