Power is a how-to manual addressed to an elite, and its lack of balance between means and ends exposes all management academics to the risk of being seen as what historian Loren Baritz called “servants of power” — people who offer powerful tools without concern for the ends to which they are put. In preparing managers to be rulers of hell, this provocative book is an antidote to the Panglossian preaching of so many gurus that counsels them, in effect, to be servants of heaven. If the management academy’s mantra, like that of the medical profession, should be “first, do no harm,” this medication, without more careful prescription, needs a warning label.
- David K. Hurst is a contributing editor of strategy+business. His writing has also appeared in Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times, and other leading business publications. Hurst is the author of Crisis & Renewal: Meeting the Challenge of Organizational Change (Harvard Business School Press, 2002).