Power! How to get it, How to use it!

Barnaby Alkire
7 min readJan 13, 2019


As Michael Korda eludes to one cannot learn to acquire power through a set of rules. This book written back in the ’70s is a timeless gem. I highly recommend purchasing the book here to refine your power game.

There are principles to abide by below to start and maintain the power mechanism.

1: “Act impeccably! Perform every act as if it were the only thing in the world that mattered”

2: “ Never reveal all of yourself to other people, hold something back in reserve so that people are never quite sure if they really know you.”

3: “Learn to use time, think of it as a friend, not an enemy. Don’t waste it going after the things you don’t want.”

4: “Learn to accept your mistakes. Don’t be a perfectionist about everything.”

5: “Don’t make waves move smoothly without disturbing things.”

Here’s how I’m going to flesh this book overview. I’ve laid out each chapter and taken out solid information to apply to our lives.

A key power principle that plays out in my life is either being a thermostat or a thermometer.

You either initiate the influence of the room or you are influenced by the temperature of the room. This done in a complex and well thought out way to which the power player decides to play the game or steps aside. It’s crucial we understand the social sciences to equip our own respective communities. On and offline.

Part 1: Power People

Chapter 1: The Power Game

“Wherever I found the living, there I found the will to power.” - Nietzche

Body language: What’s the first thing any person sees? It’s your beautiful face. To practice power is to practice what you are communicating to people. Bottom line is you need to control your face.


“Try looking in the mirror, and saying . , in a firm, reasonable and believable voice, “I think my work entitles me to move more than I ‘m making now, and I know I can get more, as a matter of fact, but I’d prefer to stay here.” If your eyes look shifty and blink a lot, and lower jaw is pushed forward pugnaciously your is give you away. ..”

Application: By practicing in front of a mirror, it is possible to develop a firm, trustworthy gaze, and a confident, relaxed mouth. The goal is to eliminate the signs of nervousness.

Facial Power Do Not:

Licking lips

Biting them

Any twitch of the mouth

Excessive Blinking

Excessive Eye Movement

Remaining to yourself instead of fidgeting shows you are reliable and have common sense about you.

Also, the authors encourage men to shave the beard and lose the mustache. As it seems like there’s something to hide or appears to convey uncertainty.

Chapter 2: Stories of Power

Only power can get peoples into a position where they may be noble. — Alfred Kazin

“The wise man soon learns that omnipotence is servitude. Too much power over other people can be almost as bad as falling into the clutches of people who think they have the right to run to your life.”

Chapter 3: Living with Power

“It is strange desire to seek power and lose liberty. “

— Faceis Bacon Essays, H, Of Great Place

“When Carlos Castaneda, the anthropologist and student of power, complained to his mentor Don Juan that he was not really qualified to follow his guide on the path to power and knowledge in the frightening loneliness of the deserts and the mountains, that if he could perhaps “disentangle” himself from his commitment as a twentieth century urban man and go and live in the wilderness, he might fare better, the old man pointed to the busy streets of a modern town and said: “ this your world … You are a man of the world. And there, in that world, is your hunting ground. There is no way to escape the doing of our world, so what a warrior does is to turn his world into his hunting ground. As a hunter, a warrior knows that the world is made to be used. So he sues every bit of it. A warrior is like a pirate that has no qualms in taking and using anything he wants, except that the warrior doesn’t mind or doesn’t feel insulted when he is used and taken himself.”

Part 2: The World of Power

Chapter 4: The Power Spot

“You are hunting power and this is your place, the place where you will store your resources.”

— Carlos Castaneda JOURNEY TO IXTLAN

The best power spot whether it’s in an office or social gathering is in the corner. Check out the charts below. By far the most interesting aspect of power I learned in this book.

Color Breakdowns

Yellow: Frivolous and weak

Blue: Most powerful color

Baige/tan: Too neutral to represent power

Red: Too frightening

Dark Brown: Depressing

White: Space freedom.

The best color combination is are blue and yellow.

Chapter 5: Games of Power

“Kronsteen was not interested in human beings… Nor did the categories “good” and “bad” have any place in his vocabulary. To him, all people were chess pieces. He was only interested in their reactions to the movements of other pieces.”


Information Game: Control the information. The art of same a lot without saying nothing meaningful. The outcome for controlling information conveys the person being indispensable.

Chapter 6: Power Exercises

Those engaged in the struggle forever overestimate it, forever glorify their own enterpruse- but it is nothing but brutal, bestial, material power he seeks… this age-old stupid scramble of the ambitious for power and the climbers for a place in the sun…


Quitting is an art.

It’s a power play to rise quickly to the players next to the desired position. The player decides to kick the ladder and leaps towards something greater in their career/life path. As one executive says, quit while you’re ahead. The process of quitting is an action game never losing a footing to the next role. A slips up results in losing to being an unemployed sap. Like you, the author and I are thinking no one wants to hire one who is contemptuous or disloyal to their present employer.

Chapter 7: Symbols of Power

There was a sameness to these men… They ate in the same restaurants, wore the same suits, wore Gucci loafers. — Zan Thompson

Foot Power: This is my favorite part of the book because it reaffirmed something I learned early on in life. The shoes you wear do matter as to how you are perceived. In the professional realm, simple black dress shoes are the best to wear with constant upkeep of polishing them.

Chapter 8: Women and Power

“Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.”

— Samuel Johnson

Women the workforce have incredible power and the hurdle for women is to voice their voice amongst a male-dominated place. As in their authority to show their power to the other power players. I personally see the power game defined as how sharpens their skill over genitals. It’s silly. A person is a person and they’re responsible for improving themselves and applying new practices.

Part 3: Love of Power

Chapter 9: Power Rules

“A man can be a star of the first magnitude in fights, willpower, and endurance, but so well balanced that he turns with the system to which he belongs without any friction or waste of energy. Another way have the same great gifts or even finer ones, but the axis does not pass precisely through the center and he squanders half his strength in eccentric movements which weaken him and disturb his surrounds. “


See the beginning of this post for the 5 rules.

My thoughts on power fall closely to Korda’s unpacking of it. From a lens of a sales professional, there is a lot going on when introducing an idea to a prospective client and guiding them throughout the sales process.

As a man, social power is important to me and it always has been. This book is a good guideline and as Michael says you can’t teach this. It’s something to be mimic by others who wield power well and to test.

My Power Games:

Asking questions and actively listening.

Following up and using body language to ease others.

Serving others.

Forgiving and reaffirm God is in control.

Laughing and keeping things light-hearted.

Never speaking poorly of others and snapping the gossip chain.

Remaining calm in all life circumstances.

Understanding that things happen, I gotta figure out a way to solve it.

Paying it forward to others and practicing compassion.

Asserting command when necessary.

Final Note:

Money is great and time is greater. Time with people is priceless.

If you were in construction, you’d go to the gym to make your job easier, right? If you’re a person of influence, every human being is, you’d learn how to use your power.

I suggest studying the social sciences to help better you because you are worth it.

Amazon Book Link Here