Listen free for 30 days

  • 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
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
The Power of Giving Away Power cover art

The Power of Giving Away Power

By: Matthew Barzun
Narrated by: Matthew Barzun
Try for £0.00

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £9.99

Buy Now for £9.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

How do great leaders thrive in uncertain times? By changing their mindsets about power.

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.   

For decades, leaders forced their organizations to look like a pyramid, with all authority flowing from the top. That didn’t work. Next, experts told leaders to adopt “bottom-up” leadership. But that’s not working either. Top-down and bottom-up are the same organizational shape. And neither approach really enables innovation, collaboration, or enthusiasm. The problem is the Pyramid.

A few rare leaders have seen the pyramid for the trap that it is and have learned to embrace a new 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.  

In this practical and personal journey, 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. With lessons for leaders of all types, 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 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

“A leadership manifesto like you’ve never read before. Every page is eye-opening, provocative and energising.” (Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit )

“Matthew Barzun might well be the first modest man to write a great book on leadership. This is a gift.” (Richard Thaler, Novel Prize laureate and co-author of Nudge )

“An extraordinary book about human flourishing, about linking properly to the best bits of ourselves and others to move mountains. Enlightening and brain reviving.” (Alain de Botton) 

What listeners say about The Power of Giving Away Power

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good leadership book

It's good book with good lessons that I've noted and practical ways to implement the constellation mindset. I did not enjoy who heavy it was on American politics. I may have put it aside if I was reading physical book as it was sluggish at point trying to tell the story that will lead to the message.
Overall good book that I would recommend to others.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book is everything we need.

If you lead, collaborate or participate, this book is ESSENTIAL. It contains the recipe for our survival and success.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book, made me think a lot

This is an excellent book with forwardthinking ideas and great illustrative stories. Well worth your time give it a try.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Matthew
  • Matthew
  • 12-07-22

A challenging but very enjoyable listen

This book will almost certainly challenge you but the author is a great story teller and it is a very enjoyable listen. I highly recommend it to anyone that’s serious about understanding and practicing leadership.