Pfeffer on Power

This is the Pfeffer on Power, a podcast about accelerating your career, with your host, Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer. Every other week, we talk to someone who has used Pfeffer’s principles of power to accelerate their career, to get out of their own way and to accomplish amazing things. Upcoming guests in the first season of Pfeffer on Power include Deb Liu, CEO of Ancestry; Jon Levy, the world’s greatest networker & author of You’re Invited; Jason Calacanis, the Silicon Valley guru; and many more successful business leaders from around the world who share how they got started and how they broke through using my 7 Rules of Power.

Listen on:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Google Podcasts
  • Podbean App
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • TuneIn + Alexa
  • iHeartRadio


Tuesday Jan 03, 2023

Learn more about Jeffrey Pfeffer and where you can buy or listen to his books:
Join Vivas Kumar, CEO, and Co-Founder of Mitra Chem, as we discuss why power and influence are essential topics for people doing their own startups. This episode packs an incredible set of actionable insights from a leader in the race to end climate change. Vivas explains how he used and will continue to use the concepts learned in my The Paths to Power class at Stanford GSB.
In this episode, you will learn:
The motivation for Vivas’ family to move to the U.S. from Singapore 20 years ago
His realization that education goes well beyond just books
Why just putting your head down and working hard to be successful is not true
Who plays by a different set of rules, and the results gained
Acquiring power and influence to enact positive change in the world
Mitra Chem’s mission to solve climate change and how it got funded
What he learned from working for Elon Musk
Why IQ and EQ have certain limits while relationships have none
Transforming relationships into resources
The learned skills of speaking and acting with power and confidence
Joining Toastmasters to get out of his own way and a critical skill learned
Going beyond the fear of failure and failing with integrity
Vivas’ ability to create resources and activate his network
Marrying confidence with urgency to solve a global problem
How he built an identity associated with solving the problem of batteries
Why in-person meetings build credibility and gravitas
The ultimate two resources
What to do rather than ask someone for an investment
Vivas Kumar is the CEO and Co-Founder of Mitra Chem. He was previously at Tesla as a senior manager responsible for the global battery supply chain, and a Principal at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. He earned a BS in electrical engineering from Rice University, and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Produced by The

Tuesday Dec 20, 2022

Learn more about Jeffrey Pfeffer and where you can buy or listen to his books:
Laura Chau shares how her story of origin, along with some of the 7 Rules of Power, like getting out of her own way and building a powerful brand, enable her to lean into the power she has cultivated in her career as a General Partner at Canaan.
In this episode, we discuss the following:
The role conscious brand building plays in achieving and maintaining power
How to best work within current constructs of the world to create effective change
The importance of a defined brand and voice as tools to achieve goals
Why ambition as a personality dimension predicts success
How culture and upbringing can contain scripts that are not useful
The avenues she used to build power: a podcast, panel events, conferences, a Clubhouse show, Substack, Medium
Getting maximum mileage out of everything she does because time is limited
The value in making sure people remember you
Why your personal style is a reflection of more than fashion
Staying top-of-mind to ensure you don’t miss opportunities
How Laura gains new clients
GUEST BIO w/ social links:
Laura Chau is a General Partner at Canaan, an early-stage venture capital firm, where she leads the consumer technology investment practice and serves on numerous boards.
Laura was one of the first employees at Kabam, one of Canaan’s portfolio companies that was acquired by Netmarble in 2017. She has also worked at Branch Metrics and Greenhouse in sales and marketing functions, in addition to working closely with Marie Kondo, Netflix star and author ofThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, to help launch her venture-backed e-commerce business.
Laura holds a B.S. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University, an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and is a Forbes 30 Under 30 alum.
Laura's LinkedIn:'s Substack:'s Twitter:
Produced by The

Tuesday Dec 06, 2022

Learn more about Jeffrey Pfeffer and where you can buy or listen to his books:
Daryn Dodson is the founder and managing director of Illumen Capital and is an African American who is changing the world of investable assets so that more women and people of color have a more significant role in investing the multiple trillions of dollars. Daryn shares his personal history along with business philosophies inspired by The 7 Rules of Power.
In Episode 9 you’ll learn:
How Daryn’s family history of integrating Washington, D.C., informs his mission of working for justice, equity, and inclusion
The impact of applied education
The program he built to rebuild lives and businesses after Hurricane Katrina
His work to ensure entrepreneurs of color and women-led firms have access to capital
The value of working on biases toward women and people of color
What counterintuitively happens when implicit bias is removed
A guiding principle learned from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Fiduciary duty and the experiment he conducted with asset allocators
Why publishing findings encourage boards of pension funds, university endowments, and investment committees to go after the often overlooked and underestimated market of people of color and women
How he has used Rules of Power to: Get out of your own way / Build a brand / Break the rules
How bias increases during periods of high stress
GUEST BIO w/ social links:
Daryn is a passionate advocate of social and economic justice, especially for disadvantaged and marginalized groups. His work with impact investors, private equity funds, Fortune 100 companies, universities, and foundations has been viewed through the lens of addressing the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems.
Daryn previously led the Special Equities Program as a consultant to the Board of the Calvert Funds, a $12 billion pioneer of the impact investing field. Through this vehicle, Calvert maintains a portfolio of more than 40 funds on five continents, representing over 350 underlying portfolio companies. Prior to serving as a consultant to Calvert, Daryn served as Director of University and Corporate Partnership for The Idea Village, where he created a platform engaging leading private equity firms, business schools, and Fortune 500 companies to invest over 100,000 hours and $2 million into more than 1,000 New Orleans entrepreneurs post-Hurricane Katrina.
Mr. Dodson currently serves on the Board of Directors for Ben and Jerry’s. He earned his M.B.A. from Stanford, where he serves on the Dean’s Management Board, and his A.B. from Duke University.
Daryn's LinkedIn: Capital:
Produced by The

Tuesday Nov 22, 2022

Learn more about Jeffrey Pfeffer and where you can buy or listen to his books:
Valerie Shen is Partner and Chief Operating Officer at G2 Venture Partners, overseeing all operational aspects of the firm, which has almost one billion dollars under management. Valerie exemplifies many of the principles within the book 7 Rules of Power and speaks with us about how she began (yes, began) her career as a Chief Operating Officer for a venture capital firm.
In this episode:
Valerie’s background before attending business school
Her pivotal internship
How she landed her job as a Chief Operating Officer
Why she accepted the position
How she met her mentor by sending a cold email
The importance of choosing a focus within the company’s roles
The importance of differentiating yourself
What a COO does in a venture fund
The rules of power used to get such a high-level role so early in her career
Taking a position that matches your natural skillsets and what you enjoy
Crafting a job that plays to your abilities
How she got her job as COO at G2 Venture Partners
A provocative take on her experience of being an Asian woman in tech
The danger in highlighting differences
The issue of cognitive load
Advice on having the willingness and ability to self-promote
GUEST BIO w/ social links:
Valerie Shen is Partner and Chief Operating Officer at G2 Venture Partners. She oversees all operational aspects of the firm and fund, including fundraising / LP relations, recruiting / HR, fund administration, impact reporting, legal, compliance, and marketing.
Prior to business school, Valerie was an analyst at Kleiner Perkins’ $1B Green Growth Fund, where she helped the team found G2. Before that, Valerie was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where she worked across four continents, primarily on energy projects. She has also held positions at the U.S. Senate, X (Google’s “moonshot factory”), Goldman Sachs, Jane Street Capital, and The Wilderness Society.
Valerie holds a B.A. degree summa cum laude in Environmental Science & Public Policy and Earth & Planetary Sciences from Harvard University. She holds an M.B.A. and M.S. in Environment and Resources from Stanford University, where she was a Siebel Scholar and an Arjay Miller Scholar.
Website: by The

Tuesday Nov 08, 2022

Learn more about Jeffrey Pfeffer and where you can buy or listen to his books:
Meet Sadiq Gillani, a Senior Advisor for travel at Attestor Capital, where he is Chairman The Advisory Board for Condor, the second largest airline in Germany. We discuss how he used his association with Lufthansa to leverage his career, his career philosophy, how he spots new opportunities, personal brand building within a corporation, and surviving the departures of people who hired him at Lufthansa and Emirates. 
In this episode, we discuss:
Using ideas of power to leverage knowledge and experience toward becoming more successful
His series of career moves created by proactively managing his career
Using power as an amplification of performance
Leveraging platforms and identifying opportunities as they appear
What put him in the ecosystem of travel startups
His experience lecturing at Stanford for six years
How internal and external activities simultaneously reinforce company and personal brands
Aligning his interests with the company’s for mutual benefit
Repositioning himself as an expert on innovation within the travel industry
The questions he asks to spot new opportunities
His transition entirely to a portfolio career, sitting on boards, and advisory work
A word of caution on personal brand building within a corporation
The connection, interdependence, and interplay between the external and internal
Why looking ahead to future implications of current work can pay big dividends
The importance of staying relevant to your network
The trade-off between risk and return within a career
The importance of getting more operating experience to broaden out
Looking broadly into your role within your company
Surviving the departures of the people who hired him at Lufthansa and Emirates
The value of having mentors and friends within your organization
Cultivating internally diversified relationships
Sadiq is a Senior Advisor for travel at Attestor Capital, where he is Chairman of the Advisory Board for Condor, the second-largest airline in Germany. He sits on the board of eTraveli, an online travel agency owned by CVC Partners, and the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council for Travel.
Sadiq is also an Executive Coach and is creating a self-development program based on the work of Carl Jung. He started an MBA course at Stanford on the Travel & Airline industry and was a lecturer there from 2014-2020. He previously headed up the in-house consulting and transformation team of Emirates Group, reporting to Sir Tim Clark. He spent seven years with Lufthansa Group, where he was the Chief Strategy & Innovation officer, reporting to the CEO, and was Head of Network & Fleet at Eurowings.
He began his career as a strategy consultant with Bain & Co. and was a partner at Seabury, a boutique airline consulting firm (now part of Accenture). He completed his M.B.A. at Harvard Business School and holds a B.A. and M.Phil in Management Studies from Cambridge University. He was included in the Financial Times' Top 100 leaders list, the World Economic Forum´s Young Global Leaders, and Capital Magazine's Top 40 under 40.
Website www.sadiqgillani.comInstagram @sadiq.gillaniLinkedIn:
Produced by The

Tuesday Oct 25, 2022

Learn more about Jeffrey Pfeffer and where you can buy or listen to his books:
Meet former Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust and board member of several organizations including Oregon Public Broadcasting (and former student of mine), Rukaiyah Adams. We discuss how she uses power to overcome career challenges and how the personal and professional intersect to affect career decisions and success.
Discussed in this episode:
Forging a career in finance after receiving her JD and MBA from Stanford Business School
How fewer than 2% of the trillions of dollars in managed assets are managed by women or people of color – and what rare breed this makes Rukaiyah
Being asked to run for mayor of Portland
Overcoming early career challenges
The advantage of operating differently from her peers
The value in understanding roles to acquire power
How not being perceived as a threat facilitated advancement
The non-linear trajectory when the personal and professional intersect
Her values of family, making space for love, and work feeding her spirit
What informed her decision to move from the East to the West Coast
Being open to what her spirit needs to open clarity in professional outcomes
Lessons learned in class that have propelled her to a position of prominence
Interrogating power
How power actually happens
The pressures of running a foundation and the importance of the team
Moving forward without certainty of the next step
Creating a platform to talk about ways American capitalism needs to evolve
The consideration of finding a partner who compliments and supports your career
The most significant business decision of any career
Seeing the residue of slavery everywhere in finance
Stepping from being an object in capitalism to a subject in control of capital
Through August 2022, Rukaiyah Adams was the Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust. Her team ensured the long-term financial strength of the organization. Throughout her tenure, Ms. Adams consistently delivered top quartile performance. In 2017, her team’s performance placed Meyer in the top 5% of foundation and endowment CIOs. The team remains among the best. Under her leadership, Meyer increased assets managed by diverse managers by more than 3x, to 40% of all assets under management, and by women managers by 10x, to 25% of AUM, proving that hiring diverse managers is not a concessionary practice.
Before joining Meyer, Ms. Adams ran the $6.5 billion capital markets fund at The Standard, then a publicly-traded company. At The Standard, she oversaw six trading desks that included several bond strategies, preferred equities, derivatives and other risk mitigation strategies.
Ms. Adams started her career as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher and Flom.
Ms. Adams was a recent chair of the prestigious Oregon Investment Council, the board that manages approximately $100 billion of public pension and other assets for the State of Oregon.
Ms. Adams serves on the boards of directors of Albina Vision Trust, Self Enhancement Inc. Foundation, Oregon Public Broadcasting and Oregon Health and Science University Foundation, as well as on the investment committee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. She also sits on Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission.
She has given two Ted talks. Her 2016 Ted talk — A Homegirl’s Guide to Being Powerful — about her path to becoming a more thoughtful investor and the role of investment capital in achieving social justice has more than 11,000 views.
Ms. Adams holds a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College, a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School, and a Masters of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Twitter: RukaiyahAdamsLinkedIn: RukaiyahInstagram: MissRukaiyah
Produced by the

Tuesday Oct 11, 2022

Learn more about Jeffrey Pfeffer and where you can buy or listen to his books:
Jason Calacanis is an entrepreneur and angel investor, amongst many other things, and shares with us three rules of power that have made him an incredibly effective business person.
How Jason turned $100,000 into $100 million
Growing up in middle-class Brooklyn
Fixing laser printers by day and going to Fordham at night
The unconventional way he got into Fordham • Willingness to break the rules
The power of frequency
Why there is always room for an exception
Creative distribution of his publications
What made Digital Dim Sum a success
The importance of networking and relationships
Standing up for who you believe in
Creating smart controversy
The lasting impressions of hosting high-quality events
A valuable technique for introducing guests
Creating strength when nobody’s opinion matters
Demonstrable Growth – what it is and why it works
The Tipping Technique
The three rules of power that contribute to Jason’s success
Jason Calacanis is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and podcaster. He is known for being an early investor in companies such as Robinhood and Uber. Overall he has invested in 300 startups, four of which have reached billion-dollar valuations. Jason is also a co-founder of Weblogs, Inc., which was instrumental in the dot-com era of online blogging.
In 2009 Jason founded Open Angel Forum, an event that helps startups find angel investors. Jason’s book Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups—Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000 was published in 2017.
Jason currently resides in San Francisco, California. Dr. Pfeffer has been on Jason’s podcast This Week in Startups four times.
Jason’s blog:
Linkedin Profile:
Produced by the

Tuesday Sep 27, 2022

Learn more about Jeffrey Pfeffer and where you can buy or listen to his books:
Dr. Sarah Buchner shares what she’s learned in my Paths to Power class at Stanford in the MBA program and how she’s successfully applied power to her career as the Queen of Construction.
How the power game began for her when she started her career at age 12 in Austria
The ways she learned to show her power
The advantages of being an outsider
The uniqueness of her PhD
Why she always uses “Dr.” in her email signature
How she financed her PhD
Ideas about breaking the rules and standing out
What from the class and book, 7 Rules of Power, are helping launch her startup
The boldest networking moves she’s made
The benefits of getting out of your way
What she’s done with branding herself in terms of appearance and acting with power to build her brand
The secret to her handshake and other branding decisions
Why her first business cards stood out
How success has helped activate the “success excuses everything” principle
Networking the right way
The bold statement she made to a board member while in her 20s
Dr. Sarah Buchner holds a PhD in civil systems engineering/data science and a Stanford MBA and is a serial entrepreneur in the construction tech space. She is the definition of self-made: growing up in a tiny village in Austria in a non-college family she started her career when she was 12 years old as a carpenter and worked her way up in the construction industry. Her current startup (performance management software/fintech) targets the skilled labor shortage in the US. She is starting with the construction industry, but her plan is to expand into oil and gas, mining, agriculture and other spaces where there is a tight (day) labor market. Her mission is to put more money back into the people's pocket who actually do the work: the craft.
Sarah's LinkedIn profile:
Produced by the

Tuesday Sep 13, 2022

Learn more about Jeffrey Pfeffer and where you can buy or listen to his books:
Jon Levy is a behavioral scientist specializing in human connection, trust, and influence. He is the author of the New York Times Best Seller “You’re Invited”, and Founder of Influencers, the secret dining experience and private community. Jeffrey speaks to Jon about how he started his Influencer Dinners and shares some of the amazing content from his book.
How Levy started hosting Influencer Dinners
Why relationships, connections, and trust lead to an extraordinary life
The model Levy developed after researching the behavior of highly influential people
What has been learned after hosting 2500 people at 266 dinners in 11 cities in four countries
What highly influential people need instead of another rubber chicken dinner
What reading about scientific concepts does for Levy’s life
How the IKEA effect accelerates the rate at which people bond
Why vulnerability creates trust (and how it’s the opposite of what corporate America tries to do)
The unseen loneliness of some influential and important people
The five concerns of billionaires when meeting people
Elements that create a memorable event
The three things not sharing dinner guest’s professions until after dinner does toward building connection
The most significant factor in Levy’s success
What draws crowds and creates a committed group of people
Jon Levy is a behavioral scientist and NY Times Best Selling author known for his work in human connection, trust, and influence. Jon specializes in applying the latest research to transform the ways companies approach marketing, sales, consumer engagement, and culture. His clients range from Fortune 500 brands, like Microsoft, Google, AB-InBev, and Samsung, to startups.
More than a decade ago, Levy founded The Influencers Dinner, a secret dining experience for industry leaders ranging from Nobel laureates, Olympians, celebrities, and executives, to artists, musicians, and even the Grammy winning voice of the bark from “Who Let the Dogs Out.” Guests cook dinner together but can’t discuss their careers or give their last names. Once seated to eat, they reveal who they are. Over time, these dinners developed into a community. With thousands of members, Influencers is the largest community of its type worldwide.
Jon’s second book, You’re Invited: The Art and Science of Connection, Trust and Belonging, was released to critical acclaim quickly rising as an international best seller. In it Levy demonstrates the importance of trust, and community to accomplishing what is most important to us.
In his free time, Jon works on outrageous projects. Among them spending a year traveling to all 7 continents, or to the world's greatest events (Grand Prix, Art Basel, Burning Man, Running of the Bulls, etc.) and barely surviving to tell the tale. These Adventures were chronicled in his first book: The 2 AM Principle: Discover the Science of Adventure
Produced by the

Tuesday Sep 13, 2022

Learn more about Jeffrey Pfeffer and where you can buy or listen to his books:
Benjamin Fernandes, CEO and founder of Nala, the African payment system, and former student of Jeffrey Pfeffer, discusses how dedication creates opportunities in starting a business. Nala’s valuation is $100 million and their ultimate mission is to increase economic opportunity for Africa globally.
How hosting a local TV show at age 17 exposed him to the business of mobile cross-border payments in Africa
The door his unique ability to keep people’s attention opened
How Nala is working to reduce the cost of sending money globally into and out of Africa
What ideas Fernandes found helpful for building his business from Pfeffer’s class at Stanford
Advice on fighting imposter syndrome
A unique protocol-breaking technique that ultimately gained Nala investors
The benefits of being proactive versus reactive
The value in having employees take responsibility for their role
What being scrappy brought to Nala
Why building relationships and networking matter and create leverage
Showing up for yourself and the people you work for
The education found in talking with founders
Three questions to ask a founder
Benjamin Fernandes is an award-winning Tanzanian speaker and entrepreneur. Benjamin grew up in Tanzania, then earned scholarships that took him to America for the first time at the age of 17.
At age 21, Benjamin was the youngest African in history to ever be accepted into Stanford Graduate School of Business. He holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and an Exec Ed from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, being the first Tanzanian to attend both institutions.
Fernandes was previously a national television personality in Tanzania. After that, he worked at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the United States.
In 2018, Fernandes founded Nala, a fintech startup that is on a mission to increase economic opportunity for Africans globally. NALA recently raised $10m backed by leading US investors such as Y-Combinator, Accel, Amplo and Bessemer Partners.
In 2020, Fernandes was listed as the 15th most influential Tanzanian. In 2022, Fernandes was listed in the inaugural ROW100 most influential technology leaders in the world.
Web and Social Media:
Produced by the


Your Title

This is the description area. You can write an introduction or add anything you want to tell your audience. This can help potential listeners better understand and become interested in your podcast. Think about what will motivate them to hit the play button. What is your podcast about? What makes it unique? This is your chance to introduce your podcast and grab their attention.

Copyright 2022 All rights reserved.

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Version: 20221013