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The Elements of Power by Terry R. BACON

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CHAPTER 10ORGANIZED RIVALRY IN THE MONSTER’S DEN

Power in Organizations

SOMETIME IN THE 1940s, THEOLOGIAN REINHOLD NIEBUHR COMPOSED THE Serenity Prayer, which begins with these lines: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”1 This prayer became well known after Alcoholics Anonymous adopted it in the 1950s, and it evolved in the following decades into a piece of popular wisdom appearing, among other places, in needlepoint on the kitchen wall in my family’s home. That prayer could be the mantra for this chapter because the amount of power you have in an organization depends not only on the strength of your personal and organizational power sources, ...

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