Power and Love

A Theory and Practice of Social Change

Adam Kahane (Author)

Publication date: 01/04/2010

Bestseller over 30,000+ copies sold

Power and Love
The two methods most frequently employed to solve our toughest social problems—either relying on violence and aggression or submitting to endless negotiation and compromise—are fundamentally flawed. This is because the seemingly contradictory drives behind these approaches—power, the desire to achieve one's purpose, and love, the urge to unite with others—are actually complementary. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it, “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.” But how do you combine them?

For the last twenty years Adam Kahane of Reos Partners and the University of Oxford has worked around the world on many tough and vital challenges: food security, health care, economic development, judicial reform, peacemaking, climate change. In this extraordinary book he draws on this experience to delve deeply into the dual natures of both power and love, exploring their subtle and intricate interplay. With disarming honesty Kahane relates how, through trial and error, he has learned to balance them and offers practical guidance for how others can learn that balance as well.
  •     A new approach, proven in the field, for making progress on our most important and difficult collective challenges

  •     Based on Kahanes first-hand experiences working with teams of business, government and civil society leaders around the world

  •     Profound, personal and practical


The two main ways that people try to solve their toughest group, community and societal problems are fundamentally flawed. They either push for what they want at all costsin its most extreme form this means waror try to completely avoid conflict, sweeping problems under the rug in the name of a superficial peace. But there is a better way: combining these two seemingly contradictory approaches.


Adam Kahane argues that each is a reflection of two distinct, fundamental drives: power, the single-minded desire to achieve ones solitary purpose; and love, the drive towards unity. They are inextricable parts of human nature, so to achieve lasting change you have to able to work fluidly with both. In fact, each needs the other. As Martin Luther King put it, Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.


Kahane delves deeply in the dual nature of power and love, exploring their complex and intricate interplay. With disarming honesty he relates how, through trial and error, he learned to balance between them, shifting from one to the other as though learning to walkat first falling, then stumbling forward, and finally moving purposefully toward true, lasting reconciliation and progress.


For the last twenty years Kahane has worked around the world on a variety of challenges: economic development, food security, health care, judicial reform, peace making, climate change. He has worked with diverse teams of leadersexecutives and politicians, generals and guerillas, civil servants and trade unionists, community activists and United Nations officials, clergy and artists. He has seen, up close and personal, examples of inspiring progress and terrifying regress. Power and Love reports what he has learned from these hard-won experiences.

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Book Details
Overview
The two methods most frequently employed to solve our toughest social problems—either relying on violence and aggression or submitting to endless negotiation and compromise—are fundamentally flawed. This is because the seemingly contradictory drives behind these approaches—power, the desire to achieve one's purpose, and love, the urge to unite with others—are actually complementary. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it, “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.” But how do you combine them?

For the last twenty years Adam Kahane of Reos Partners and the University of Oxford has worked around the world on many tough and vital challenges: food security, health care, economic development, judicial reform, peacemaking, climate change. In this extraordinary book he draws on this experience to delve deeply into the dual natures of both power and love, exploring their subtle and intricate interplay. With disarming honesty Kahane relates how, through trial and error, he has learned to balance them and offers practical guidance for how others can learn that balance as well.
  •     A new approach, proven in the field, for making progress on our most important and difficult collective challenges

  •     Based on Kahanes first-hand experiences working with teams of business, government and civil society leaders around the world

  •     Profound, personal and practical


The two main ways that people try to solve their toughest group, community and societal problems are fundamentally flawed. They either push for what they want at all costsin its most extreme form this means waror try to completely avoid conflict, sweeping problems under the rug in the name of a superficial peace. But there is a better way: combining these two seemingly contradictory approaches.


Adam Kahane argues that each is a reflection of two distinct, fundamental drives: power, the single-minded desire to achieve ones solitary purpose; and love, the drive towards unity. They are inextricable parts of human nature, so to achieve lasting change you have to able to work fluidly with both. In fact, each needs the other. As Martin Luther King put it, Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.


Kahane delves deeply in the dual nature of power and love, exploring their complex and intricate interplay. With disarming honesty he relates how, through trial and error, he learned to balance between them, shifting from one to the other as though learning to walkat first falling, then stumbling forward, and finally moving purposefully toward true, lasting reconciliation and progress.


For the last twenty years Kahane has worked around the world on a variety of challenges: economic development, food security, health care, judicial reform, peace making, climate change. He has worked with diverse teams of leadersexecutives and politicians, generals and guerillas, civil servants and trade unionists, community activists and United Nations officials, clergy and artists. He has seen, up close and personal, examples of inspiring progress and terrifying regress. Power and Love reports what he has learned from these hard-won experiences.

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