How to Be Powerful in the Office

Power. Who ends up with power professionally?

That was the question Dr. Cameron Anderson and his team attempted to answer in a study at Cal Berkeley. In a dog-eat-dog world, does it pay to be a jerk?


“People with disagreeable personalities, those who are more selfish, bullying, and manipulative, don’t attain higher power than those who are more generous and giving and selfless,” Anderson concludes.

He queried college students to assess personality types, and then circled back to check their career paths 14 years later. Who was the leader of the pack, the ones who had achieved the most power?

The nice ones.

“If you are talking about power, which is what we are focused on, the best combination of traits involve assertiveness, sociability, and energy,” Anderson says.

Those traits, combined with empathy and caring, succeed best.

photo: Getty Images

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