It’s not often I use the term, “page-turner” to describe a work of nonfiction; however, this is an accurate description of New Power by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms. I took the book with me on a trip for work and found myself wishing the flights and layovers were just a little longer, so as not to interrupt my reading. I even read the book in my hotel room at night after the workday, which was a mistake a couple of nights because I found myself reading instead of getting the sleep I needed.
The subtitle of the book is, “How power works in our hyperconnected world – and how to make it work for you.” What makes the book so compelling are the heavy doses of relevant examples sprinkled throughout each chapter. Some of the case studies are familiar, but many are not. The diversity of the case studies makes the work relevant to just about anyone interested in how to successfully navigate our world of instant communication and connection.
As an aside, I appreciate how delicately the authors shared insights about politically sensitive topics without pandering to or demeaning either side of the political divide. The sensitive topics they explored made the book relevant to many of the issues we face today, and they did a nice job highlighting hot button topics without alienating people across the political spectrum.
Heimans and Timms build on their own highly-successful experiences through a fascinating exploration of others who have used new power. They offer examples of how old power is often insufficient for success in today’s fast-paced, global environment. They also share recommendations for tapping into the art of blended power, which brings old and new power together to create a type of synergy between the two.
As a student, teacher and lifelong practitioner of leadership, I especially enjoyed their insights, “about leadership in a world of colliding – and overlapping – old and new power forces” (p. 162). The authors use their New Power Compass to describe how people lead. For example, “The Crowd Leader combines a new power leadership model with a commitment to, and articulation of, new power values” (p. 162).
The only criticism I can offer is that The Future: A Full-Stack Society outlined in the final chapter seemed a little vague to me and perhaps even somewhat Pollyannaish. There were examples offered to show how this might work, but it was hard to imagine how these recommendations could transcend across multiple, diverse organizations and societies. Perhaps others who read this will come away with a better idea of how this could work, or perhaps the authors will continue exploring ideas for future research that they can share on their website.
Overall, I really enjoyed this “page-turner” and highly recommend it to others who wish to learn more about how power works in our new, hyperconnected world.
More information about the book is available at www.thisisnewpower.com, Twitter: @thisisnewpower, Facebook.com/thisisnewpower.
This book review was completed by Alvin Plexico, Ph.D. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I was not compensated for this review, nor was I asked to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”