By Maggie Craddock

Harvard Business Reviews, 202 pages

-Personal Plan to Strengthen Sway-

In the corporate world, wielding power effectively can be mystifying. After a failed power struggle, otherwise-capable executives are left to wonder what went wrong. Maggie Craddock, an executive coach, dispels this mystique by exploring what she calls the four power styles in her book Power Genes: Understanding Your Power Persona – and How to Wield It at Work. Craddock describes the typical characteristics, family background, strengths and failings of each power type and explains how to utilize one’s conditioned style to be more powerful in the workplace. A guide to implementing Craddock’s tips follows.

The book is not a manual on how to “get powerful fast”. Rather, readers will gain an awareness of the way they operate in situations requiring the use of power and how to do so more successfully. While meant as a business book, the theories can be applied to any interaction, whether professional or personal. The writing is mostly jargon-free and of average literary quality. The different power styles are cross-referenced throughout the book, and case studies are sometimes re-analyzed to show an opposing view, so it’s best to read the book in order. Be prepared for the inevitable “ah-ha” moments of self-discovery.

Andrea Klein