2) The Law of Reciprocity --- "exchange" as the basis for genuine "influence" (p26-44)
INFLUENCE WITHOUT AUTHORITY --- THE NEW WAY TO GET THINGS DONE
AT WORK Allan R. Cohen and David L. Bradford. John Wiley & Sons, 1990
PREFACE --- What does it take to get things done in a big organization? There is
a universal need to learn to "influence" others without the use of
"formal" authority. This book shows why this need is growing in
importance with the increasing complexities and rapid rate
of change in large organizations.
Exercise your influence up, down and sideways in your organization. This is possible
and essential because the responsibility for making things happen is spread out
among interrelated and sometimes hostile factions at every level of your organization.
Use the "Law of Reciprocity" to create mutual advantage and have "upward influence" for you and those who you rely on to get things done.
Establish "currencies of exchange" which are valuable psychological
and social "payments" (such as praise, challenge or a good word to
the right people) that are appropriate to each work situation.
Know the difference between negative "manipulation" and positive
"influence." Manipulation consists of actions to achieve
influence that would be rendered less effective if the target knew your actual intentions
whereas genuine influence is the direct attempt to discover what a coworker
wants in order to cooperate so that you can respond appropriately by making a
Thus, genuine "influence" is distinctly NOT the dehumanizing
and immoral manipulation!
This book is both a "survival" manual and a "leadership"
training package which shows you HOW to learn WHY people succeed (or
fail) in today's workplace. The authors wrote the book MANAGING FOR EXCELLENCE
1) Influence and the new world of work (p1-25)
 It's a new world, after all (p4-5)
Why "keeping it simple" is a stupid idea since the real world is too
complex now for simple hierarchical organizational forms!
 What next? The end of predictability (p5-10)
 Organizations need to "F" themselves --- because the forces of change are
driving organizations to the new "F Words" --- "Fast," Flexible," "Focused"
and "Fit" to the new work environment of the 21st century (p10-14)
Today's organization must be able to:
(1) Be FAST at realigning products and services to stay competitive
(2) Be FLEXIBLE enough to change gears when necessary
(3) FOCUS on what it does best so that everyone is working toward the same
goals and developing skills that differentiate the firm from its competitors
(4) FIT its structure and practices to the changes it faces
No matter how smart top management is, it cannot have all the answers in advance. It no
longer can organize in simple hierarchies with old rules. Managers at all levels must depend
on those below them to take the initiative and deal directly with each other to inform, stimulate
and challenge (EMPOWER) coworkers who are nominally "in charge" at the public service level. (p10)
Why the towering "chain-of-command" bureaucracies of the past are a STUPID IDEA
and should be "flattened" in order to be transformed into the horizontal shapes of smaller divisions,
matrixes or task forces!
Big hierarchical bureaucracies must create smaller divisions to focus on one product line or customer service area
so the lines of communication are shortened and colleagues who share a common purpose can communicate directly. (p11-12)
How the power of computer information makes ideas and knowledge
circulate freely and rapidly throughout the organization without the delays of status and
official reports. Managers must use persuasion or genuine "influence" to get cooperation
instead of controlling the flow of information to subordinate employees. Subordinate
employees are less dependent on managers as sources of knowledge (information).
Why the desire for challenge is pushing organizations toward using
greater genuine "influence" instead of blind authority for motivating today's
workforce. That is because educated modern employees have changed expectations
about work. They are less interested in safe but dull careers in favor of more challenge
Also, greater emphasis on quality, productivity, service and the use
of advanced technology has made organizations far more dependent on the commitment
of their employees instead of subservience. (p12-13)
How tougher customers who are more educated and demanding
consumers of products or services challenge big bureaucracies by their expectations
of higher quality, convenience, safety, customization, value pricing and better
How the competitive forces of speed and flexibility are shrinking the role of
middle managers as large organizations are forced to "de-layer"
or "flatten" their administrative structures so there will be less
"deadwood" in the middle layers of supervisors. Thus, subordinate employees
can insist that their bosses quickly respond to issues that may not have appeared
important to them in the past. (p13-14)
 The three faces of organizational influence --- Everyone in an
organization has a "boss," and has "peers" to deal with.
And some employees are "supervisors" who work through others.
However, the cyclone of changes hitting large organizations has altered the
relative importance of these three aspects of organizational responsibility.
In the past, the managerial role was the most prominent. But the "flattened,"
more responsive and flexible structure of a large organization required to meet the
current and future conditions of the work environment requires that more initiative,
judgment and self-direction be expected from people in their roles as subordinates
and peers, whether or not they have "formal"authority (major supervisory
responsibilities based upon the old hierarchical organizational structure).
The fundamental shift required of managers of large bureaucracies
in order to deal more effectively with employees if they are to achieve high
performance is for managers to realize that ALL employees
in the organization are responsible for departmental success --- not just the leader. (p14-16)
 Making it happen --- With so much interdependence required of
managers, wielding genuine "influence" becomes a test of the skill of
interpersonal communication. In this book there is an approach that allows leaders to
be influential without being antagonistic. By shifting the focus of leaders from preoccupation
with their own goals and frustrations to an understanding of the work world of their
subordinates, they can achieve "win-win" outcomes. (p17)
 Finding common ground --- the model of strategic alliances and partnerships
and the four fears that prevent the building alliances (p17-22)
(1) Your boss as a "partner" (p19-21)
 Give and take --- the process of "exchange" (p22-25)
(2) the "four fears" that prevent the building of alliances --- Loss of control,
disloyalty and insubordination, being political for selfish reasons, and being perceived as
empire building by colleagues instead of taking the initiative. (p22)
(1) Mutual respect --- assume they are competent and smart (p23)
When the existing relationship is characterized by openness and trust, you
can take the initiative without being seen as out of control, insubordinate,
over-political or empire-building. When the relationship is poor or questionable,
however, it is hard to know how the other person will interpret new forms of
initiative. You may be in danger of creating suspicion, which will reduce your
effectiveness, or increasing mistrust and jeopardizing the future of the
(2) Openness --- talk straight to them (p23)
(3) Trust --- assume that no one will take any action that is purposely
intended to hurt another, so hold back no information that the other could
use, even if it doesn't help your immediate position (p24)
(4) Mutual benefit --- Plan every strategy so that both partners win! If that
doesn't happen over time, the alliance will break up (p24)
This book demonstrates that the skills for attaining influence are
within your grasp, even when your relationship is not a good one.
3) Giving power of "mutual exchange" --- getting what you want and giving others
what they need (p45-71)
4) Goods and services --- the "currencies" of exchange (p72-98)
5) Knowing what they want --- understanding the world of your "allies" (p99-128)
6) You are more "powerful" than you think --- understanding your own world (p129-151)
To achieve all the power of which you are capable, you need to
understand yourself as well as your potential "ally"
(boss, peer or customer).
7) Building effective relationships --- the art of finding and developing your allies (p152-180)
What exactly are your task or project goals?
Which are of primary importance and which can be set aside if necessary?
What are your personal and career goals? Do they help or hinder task success?
Are you using all available resources?
What is your style? Is it compatible with the style of your ally? Is your way of getting work done partially causing the problem that you hope to solve?
All of these questions need careful attention --- if you are to be as powerful (genuinely
"influential") as possible!
Only then will you have the ability (essential personal skills and knowledge) to gain "influence" by
making successful "exchanges" in a complex work environment. (p151)
8) Exchange strategies (p181-214)
9) Lessons from a determined influencer (p215-250)
10) Becoming a "partner" with your boss --- influence without authority raised
to the highest level (p251-279)
The rapidly changing world of work requires that people at all levels take initiative,
really help their bosses --- by getting work done and by pushing back, if necessary ---
and act as genuine partners. (p252)
11) When you can no longer catch flies with honey --- "hardball" strategies
for influence (p280-305)
 What do subordinates want? (p252)
(1) Improve the scope of the subordinate's job --- encouraging initiative
by providing more challenge, responsibility, autonomy or discretion.
 Allies and partners (p252-254)
(2) Offer higher quality supervision --- helping in the new challenges by
giving better, more timely feedback and coaching, but less judgmental criticism.
(3) Create a better work relationship --- supporting partnership by open
communication, mutual influence, joint problem solving and greater trust.
(4) Be more effective as a boss --- helping the subordinate ("junior") partner
carry out changes by obtaining needed resources, influencing upward, negotiating with peers or
 Attitudes toward authority (p254-259)
 What do bosses want, anyway? And why are they so afraid they will get it?
 No escape --- you are responsible for the relationship with your boss (p260-278)
(1) Improved job scope --- challenge, autonomy and so on (p264-265)
 Conclusions --- without a partnership approach, it is very difficult to influence most bosses.
Genuine influence begins with a clear understanding of the other person's "currencies."
(a) Utilizing partnership to gain responsibility (264-265)
(2) Changing the quality of supervision your boss provides (p267-271)
(b) Utilizing "exchange" (265-267)
(a) Utilizing "partnership" on the boss-subordinate contract (267-268)
(3) Improving the superior-subordinate work relationship (p271-278)
(b) The tension between admitting the "need to learn" and
wanting "to look good" (p268-270)
(c) "Help me, but don't help the hell out of me" (p270-271)
(a) Cost-benefit analysis (272-274)
(b) Disagreeing without being insubordinate (p274-275)
(c) Helping your boss be more effective in the job --- It is most desirable to
influence managers in their ability to do their own jobs better so that, ultimately,
you can better perform yours. You must learn to assist in a way that won't be
(d) True Grit --- being a worthy partner (p276-278)
If your own attitudes toward administrative authority blind you to what your
boss values, you will have a hard time figuring out what to "exchange" for the influence you crave. If you make authority figures into gods who are always
right (or devils who can't be right, or remote icons who are too removed to be relevant), then
you are unlikely to notice that they are also struggling to find their own influence!
It is in a boss's "humanness" that the clues to influencing him or her reside.
 Accentuate the negative --- raise your ally's "costs" (p281-301)
(1) One step at a time --- gradual cost "escalation". The basic ground
rule is to raise "costs," or indicate your intent to raise them, a little at a
time. Gradual escalation is the way to minimize negative responses,
allow yourself the most room for preserving the relationship, and increase
the number of options you have. (p282-285)
 Into every "lifer" some rain must fall --- Rotten apples and hardball. (p297-301)
(2) Going up? When the recalcitrant colleague is your boss. When your boss is the person who
is really difficult to influence, and he or she is stuck in negative behavior, you have to work hard to
find unprovocative ways to escalate the costs. (p285-287)
(3) Breathing room options --- The willingness to guarantee your own performance to your boss,
if your boss will let you do it your way, is usually enough of a desirable exchange to create the desired
better work relationship. You can use negative currencies to create space and then emphasize good performance as the most important outcome. (p287-289)
(4) The ultimate escalation --- betting your job by threatening to quit! Also, the
employee who cuts a coworker down behind his back risks ruining his or her own reputation more
than the reputation of the person targeted for revenge. (p289-297)
(1) The sunshine law (p298-300)
 No bullet-proof vests --- the risks of "escalation" (p301-302)
(2) Saving all my love for you --- the calculated confrontation (p300)
(3) Spread a little sunshine (p300-301)
 Organizational dangers of using exchange strategies (p302-304)
 The potential of the "high-initiative, high-influence" organization (p304-305)
The needs for employees at all levels of an organization to take initiative, seek
responsibility, and find ways to gain the cooperation of colleagues and managers will
only increase in the new millennium. When all employees are skilled in the forming
of "alliances" and in the creating of "exchanges" --- where they can acquire influence by helping others ACHIEVE their goals, large organizations can become fast, flexible, focused and fit to their environments.
They can manage to be "agile" no matter what the size of their organizations
because the talented people in them know how to do what is needed to create results:
(1) Pay attention to what is really imporant --- what are the highest priorities
--- to coworkers?
(2) See even those with different interests and expertise as potential "allies"
rather than as "adversaries."
(3) Go out of your way to help one another, because that builds the "credits"
to trade in.
(4) Diagnose the needs of and take initiative towards
fellow employees who won't "cooperate" rather than see them as "enemies"
and writing them off.
(5) Create "win-win" results, which lead to a cooperative, trusting work
environment in which it is easier to make the "exchanges" needed to get work done
through ongoing genuine "mutual influence."