How to wield power to improve the workplace : Invisibilia Bad bosses. Obnoxious coworkers. Unfair compensation. There are so many reasons people feel disempowered in the workplace. But how can our feelings about power enable or disrupt the larger dynamics we hate at work? This week, Yowei Shaw seeks answers from a power researcher and a union organizer.

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YOWEI SHAW, HOST:

From NPR, this is INVISIBILIA. I'm Yowei Shaw. So earlier this season, we did a story about how negative feelings about power can make some of us want to avoid power in our personal lives, which can have consequences.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: I feel like I'm almost more comfortable smaller. But then, occasionally, I'll get resentful or upset that I have found myself so small.

SHAW: And while reporting that episode, I came across some ways in which negative feelings about power can also have structural consequences, beyond the one-on-one, intimate level, consequences that can show up in the workplace.

PETER BELMI: Everybody can play the game, but not me.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Like, there is a lot of feelings of powerlessness.

SHAW: And we all know work sucks. But could these negative feelings be getting in the way of seizing power to improve the workplace for yourself and others? Today, we will hear the unconventional methods a union organizer uses to help workers believe in their power.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: I'm going to give all of you a bunch of empty bottles of ketchup.

SHAW: But first, we're going to start with a conundrum - what organizational behavior researchers call the self-selection problem, which asks a basic question. Is one reason we so often see bosses handling power badly - you know, leaders who manipulate, take credit for others' work, who put profits over people - actually a problem with who ends up going after positions of power in the first place?

BELMI: There are people who claim to be chickens and actually are, in fact, snakes. (Laughter).

SHAW: That's after the break.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BELMI: We have a phrase in Tagalog that, if you translate it, it means that, work as hard as you can, and God will do the rest.

SHAW: Peter grew up working class in the Philippines. And when his family won a lottery to come to the States, he did what he'd been taught. He worked, full time, making seven bucks an hour, and put himself through a master's program in the hopes of getting a steady job to support his family one day.

BELMI: I thought that if I just work really hard in grad school, that my work would speak for itself, that I would get noticed simply on the basis of how hard I worked and how good my papers were.

SHAW: And everything seemed to go according to plan. His adviser noticed his research skills, encouraged him to apply for a Ph.D. So when Peter got into Stanford, he felt like he was getting his big break, until 2013, when he signs up to TA a class he doesn't know much about, just that it's called Path to Power, one of the most popular courses at Stanford Business School.

BELMI: So I expected that the class would be about something along the lines of Oprah coming in and talking about the secrets of success...

(LAUGHTER)

BELMI: ...And that you would feel inspired and energized to go out there and believe that you could make it in the world and make a difference. That was not how I felt on the first day of class.

SHAW: What happened on that first day?

BELMI: I remember feeling terrified.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHAW: On the first day of class, the professor walks in, a renowned organizational behavior researcher named Jeffrey Pfeffer.

JEFFREY PFEFFER: I say to my students, this class is not for everyone.

SHAW: Peter remembers Jeff basically saying everything they've been told about how to get ahead in the world is a lie, that hard work alone won't do it.

PFEFFER: If you do a great job and nobody notices, your job performance will be, of course, irrelevant to your success.

SHAW: You have to play the power game. And if you want to have power to achieve your objectives, to never have to leave a job involuntarily, Jeff says the social science literature points to these keys to success.

BELMI: Treating others as resources.

PFEFFER: I would rephrase that as being strategic in your relationships with other people, but that's correct.

SHAW: Making alliances with people who are going to win.

PFEFFER: That's also networking.

BELMI: Put yourself first. Don't be modest. Take up space.

PFEFFER: You are responsible for taking the actions necessary to make you successful. I don't consider that being selfish.

SHAW: Expressing anger to manipulate people.

PFEFFER: Anger is a stronger emotion that many of the others.

BELMI: And lying.

(LAUGHTER)

BELMI: This is straight-up lying. You need to lie.

PFEFFER: We can talk about lying, which has lots of value connotations, or we can change that to strategic misrepresentation.

BELMI: I remember just, like, looking around. Every - the entire class - I was, like, are we - is this, like, a real thing that's happening right now?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BELMI: There was some silence. And I remember there were some very courageous students who raised their hand and basically asked Jeff if this was unethical. And Jeff responded with, if you want power, the only principle that you should follow is the principle of self-interest.

SHAW: Wow. This is, like, a parody of what business school students learn.

BELMI: (Laughter).

PFEFFER: I don't think I said that. What I did say is that organizations are not going to take care of you, that you need to take care of yourself. I suspect that if we turn the tables in a relatively short period of time, we could find everything that you just talked about going on even at NPR.

SHAW: As the course goes on, Peter learns about research showing how these Machiavellian traits, as well as narcissism, are predictors of who gets power in the real world. He learns that nice people might suffer from being too nice.

BELMI: Jeff has this question that he asks students all the time. What would happen if you put a chicken and a snake in a cage? And I remember my first thought was, like, why are they in a cage?

(LAUGHTER)

SHAW: That is the obvious question.

The final project was the cherry on top, where students put into practice the strategies they've learned in the course - to do power in the real world.

What kinds of things would students do?

BELMI: They do all sorts of horrible things to each other.

SHAW: For example, Peter heard that a student tried to get their company co-founder kicked out. And to be fair, not all the students chose to do power in a cutthroat way. But Peter can't give specifics. He didn't grade the final projects.

PFEFFER: One of the rules I have in this class is that the only human being who reads their final projects is me.

SHAW: And for his part, Jeff doesn't think any of these paths to power are horrible. And we should say, while Jeff says Peter's reaction isn't abnormal, the students we talked to who took Jeff's class didn't feel grossed out. They felt empowered.

PFEFFER: I have - teaching people about strategies - the value judgement of those strategies is independent of the strategies or their validity.

SHAW: Whatever the case, the Path to Power class made Peter feel like his operating system was glitching. If succeeding meant using strategies he found pretty gross, was it worth it to play the power game and get to the top? You know, do the ends justify the means?

BELMI: I remember calling my mom about it, and I was telling her about this class and all the things that I was learning about about power, and she was horrified. She told me that, that is not how I raised you. And I said, I know, mom, but you know, you've got to play the game. And she did not like that. She said, if what you're saying is actually true, then it's much better to not have that.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BELMI: I mean, I think I went through the phase of, like, being angry about the class, and then I was sad about the class, and I felt hopeless in the class, and then I was just ready to quit.

SHAW: What did quitting at that moment in your life look like?

BELMI: I came to the conclusion that I will never be successful, that I will never be someone with power, that power was not something that I wanted in my life. Everybody can play the game, but not me. I'm happy to just, you know, be in the sidelines and live a quiet life.

SHAW: But he still has a dissertation to write, if he wants to get his Ph.D. And his experience in Jeff's Paths to Power class got him thinking. He knew all these structural reasons making it harder for marginalized people to end up in the room where it happens. But just because you get a seat at the table doesn't mean you feel comfortable speaking up. Your audience might not get your values, your goals. So Peter kept fixating on one question. Could the pathways to power at elite organizations be turning people from marginalized backgrounds off from even wanting to play the power game? Was he an outlier or part of the pattern?

BELMI: I noticed that, oftentimes, the objections tended to come from women and racial minorities, first-generation college students in the class.

SHAW: So Peter decides to conduct some surveys as part of his dissertation research.

BELMI: Let's ask regular people, what do you think about power? What do you think gets people to the top?

SHAW: He ends up doing a set of seven studies with over a thousand people in total, students and nonstudents, people with work experience and without. And he finds a few big takeaways. First, he realizes he is not an outlier. Across a few of his studies, he finds that, compared to folks from economically advantaged backgrounds, people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, like him, were less willing to seek positions of power when they thought they had to do it the Machiavellian way because it conflicted with their values.

BELMI: In a working-class environment, where there's lots of threats, there's lots of uncertainty, everybody has to coordinate, because doing so helps us survive as a group. Right? And so people learn in those contexts that - what it means to be a good person is to be sensitive to the needs of other people, to see yourself as connected to others.

SHAW: This tracks with social science that shows, in contrast, people from wealthier backgrounds are taught to value focusing on themselves.

BELMI: We don't need others as much in order to survive. And so what it means to be a good person is to pursue your own identity, to figure out how you're unique, compared to others.

SHAW: Second takeaway - people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds said they would seek positions of power if they thought that power could benefit others, not just themselves. But if it seemed like getting to the top required being Machiavellian, they were more likely to opt out.

BELMI: The students from more economically disadvantaged backgrounds wanted, on average, to be in the middle of the organization. Whereas, their more advantaged peers wanted to be in the upper-middle and even at the very top.

SHAW: Which means that the people we might want in positions of power, you know, people who might wield it responsibly for the group, by taking others into consideration, not just themselves, they might get turned off from seeking those positions in the first place.

BELMI: When we think of inequality, what we often consider as the main drivers of inequality are things like racism or classism or sexism. And what I am suggesting in my research is that inequality can also arise when we structure our workplaces and schools in a way that excludes the cultural values and norms of members of underrepresented groups.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHAW: Today, Peter is a professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. And - surprise - he's still in touch with Jeff. They do research together. He even recently spoke at a celebration for Jeff's career.

BELMI: He said it was the single best speech he's ever heard in his career. But, of course, he was trying to flatter me.

PFEFFER: He did fabulously.

SHAW: And now, Peter teaches - plot twist - his very own path to power class, and covers the same power strategies he heard about in Jeff's class, which he actually sees differently today. He gets that Jeff wants his students to have the tools to navigate the world as it is.

BELMI: And I'm very explicit that this is not the world that I want.

SHAW: To acquire the power, they'll need to affect change, which is basically Peter's mission. But Peter's class is a bit different. He also highlights research that suggests you can get to power and influence using what some researchers call the pro-social way.

BELMI: Putting a lot of effort in your job, being authentic, modest and truthful, being very detailed and conscientious, being a team player, helping other people and being the person others seek for advice.

SHAW: There isn't consensus on which path works better at the moment. And a lot of researchers, including Jeff, think both routes can be effective - just depends on the situation. And in Peter's class today, he also stresses to his students that if they do get power, they need to stay vigilant against its negative effects, no matter what their background is. But they have an obligation to make change from the belly of the beast - make it easier for future Peters and people like them. But when his MBA students say they want power to do good and they're committed to not becoming part of the problem, Peter still skeptical.

BELMI: I'm very explicit with my MBA students that I don't trust anything that they say.

SHAW: Really?

BELMI: I know what power does to people. And I know what most people tend to do with their power. And I ask the students, like, prove me wrong. You know?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BELMI: Prove me wrong.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHAW: After the break, more negative feelings that can get in the way of changing the workplace and the magical powers of throwing your boss under the bus.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: Yowei, we're a family, you know? Like, we've - we have - we've had such a good relationship. But now, with this, like, union thing going on - right? - like, I just feel, like, it's going to really attack what you and I believe in.

SHAW: So we've talked about one reason why people might want to opt out of the power game. Now I want to focus on how people opt in, go from feeling apathetic or demoralized at work to feeling so powerful they'll push for better treatment, better conditions, better pay. And earlier this year, I witnessed a pretty incredible example of this.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: Are you saying that if we unionize, we're going to close?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #5: No, not at all.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #6: It sounds like...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: No.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #5: ...You're insinuating...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #6: It sure sounds...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #5: ...That.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #6: ...Like that.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: No - see - I don't know how you heard that.

SHAW: I heard this audio at an organizer training put on by the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee, a project of Democratic Socialists of America and the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America. It's from an internal meeting that the company held with its workers who were trying to unionize. And the trainers were dissecting the power moves the workers made in response to management.

ALEJO GONZALEZ: As y'all were seeing - I saw chat was going off. People were hype, right? That's how you have to be when the boss is in your face.

SHAW: And what struck me about the recording they played was the steeliness in the workers' voices. I mean, when's the last time you talked to your boss like this?

UNIDENTIFIED WORKER: But it is illegal to threaten...

UNIDENTIFIED MANAGER: I'm not pressuring anybody.

UNIDENTIFIED WORKER: ...Actually.

UNIDENTIFIED MANAGER: That wasn't a threat. If you perceive that as a threat...

UNIDENTIFIED WORKER: I'm just making sure you're aware.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHAW: So you should know I'm a new shop steward for our union - shout out NPR SAG-AFTRA. So unions and the mechanics of how workers build their power - that's been on my mind. And in talking to several organizers this year, I was surprised to learn that changing how workers feel about their power is seen as a critical step to winning. That, in addition to all the other strategies - power mapping, one-on-one conversations, forming an organizing committee, so many spreadsheets - organizers also think explicitly about feelings - getting workers to believe in their own power enough to do the work to build their collective power, to show up for the meetings, do the work. It's like the seed that helps the whole thing grow. But the problem is - here's how a lot of workers feel off the bat.

GONZALEZ: Just futility and just feeling like it's not going to change anything.

SHAW: This is Alejo Gonzalez, one of the volunteers leading the training you heard earlier. He's a lead organizer with SEIU Local 105 in Denver who in his five years of union organizing has worked with janitors, nonprofits, wheelchair pushers, window cleaners, nurses, on and on. And even though Alejo has won several campaigns - to get union contracts, higher wages, safer working conditions - he knows workers aren't exactly wrong to doubt their power.

GONZALEZ: Just 9 out of 10 times, it doesn't work, right? Like, people fall off. Like, right now I'm dealing with a campaign where people are like, oh, yeah, we forgot about the meeting. Or like, yeah, I tried...

SHAW: At baseline, the power imbalance can feel rough. Forty-nine states have laws that allow employers to fire workers for almost any reason. And when you walk into the workplace, management does control so much of your world - your hours, your wages, what you wear, whether you can take off to go see your mom who's sick, whether you can openly disagree with your boss.

GONZALEZ: There's a lot of feelings of not mattering, right? Like, I could get fired tomorrow, and this company isn't going to flinch. They're not going to give a shit.

SHAW: But Alejo fiercely believes that workers do have power - not so much individually, but as a group. And the more numbers workers have, the more united they are, the more powerful they are. Because, Alejo says, at the end of the day, a company runs on the labor of its workers. And if they all band together, that's leverage.

GONZALEZ: Now, it has to be organized, though.

SHAW: So how do you convince workers they have power, especially when they feel powerless? That's what I wanted to talk to Alejo about - his tactics for pulling off what seems like a magic trick from the outside. And Alejo's methods, even though they come from a long lineage of organizing - they have a particular flair.

GONZALEZ: I personally happen to be very cheeky myself and very corny, being from Illinois.

SHAW: Take, for instance, Alejo's first tactic he told me about - trolling the boss. One time Alejo was working with a group of janitors who did have a union but were still struggling to get management to deal with a safety issue.

GONZALEZ: There was, like, this, like, really strong chemical during COVID that was supposed to be diluted. But no one got training on it, so they were just using it straight out the bottle. And it was, like, burning people's hands...

SHAW: Wow.

GONZALEZ: ...And giving them, like, respiratory problems.

SHAW: So Alejo pitched an idea to the janitors to throw the boss off at the next meeting with management.

GONZALEZ: Normally, like, three people would come, right? It wasn't a big turnout because people were scared to go.

SHAW: But this time they told management to expect 30 workers. Except there was a catch.

GONZALEZ: I'm going to go in with the three that always show up first. These three women were just badass ladies. Everyone else wait in the parking lot.

SHAW: So when Alejo walked into the boardroom for the meeting with just three janitors, there were a lot of extra chairs set up.

GONZALEZ: And I was like, hey, is there any chance you guys can get all these chairs out? It feels a little cluttered, right? So, you know, like, presidents and, like, the CEOs and whatever, are, like, grabbing all the chairs and taking them out, whatever. And then as they get the last chair out, I text the people out to come in. And so then all of a sudden, like, 25 other janitors come in, and they have to scramble to bring all the chairs back. And so they're grabbing all the chairs and stuff - right? - and, like, telling them where to put them and stuff, right?

SHAW: That's funny. It reminds me of slapstick comedy.

GONZALEZ: Yeah.

SHAW: I mean, that's a power move.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHAW: And if you're thinking this is a mean power move, well, Alejo would say, it's also mean of management to force janitors to eat lunch in closets with toxic chemicals. Also, there's a point to the shenanigans.

GONZALEZ: And then we all left out, and we got lunch after, right? And they were all just dying laughing. Like, oh, my God, did you see him? Like, he was running around. It was crazy.

SHAW: What is the importance of f'ing with management in front of workers in these smaller ways?

GONZALEZ: It's funny. It makes you feel like you could get them. And it makes you feel you could win. They're not this big, scary evil, you know, monster thing that you could never beat.

SHAW: But sometimes management can seem like a big, scary, evil monster thing. One of the more notorious ways in which management tries to intimidate workers is through something called the captive audience meeting - mandatory meetings that management can call during the workday where they subject workers to anti-union messaging.

GONZALEZ: To scare people and make people feel like it's not worth it.

SHAW: And they're often effective. According to one study, captive audience meetings can decrease the chances of employees forming a union by 26%. And so union organizers do something called inoculation, where they run through boss messaging and often role-play what might happen so workers won't be so afraid. And Alejo takes this to a whole other level.

OK, so, I've heard you also like to dress up as a bad boss - role-play.

GONZALEZ: Yes. So if folks don't know me that well - right? - or they've maybe never even seen me, I'll shave my head, like nice, clean cut. Like, I am bald, so I have to make sure it's clean anyway. But I, like, put a little shine to it, a little jojoba oil, put a nice cologne on. And I put on just, like, a corporate-looking suit, right? Like, get, like, a fat-ass watch from Target that looks expensive, but it's, like, 20 bucks.

SHAW: And then Alejo will walk into an organizing meeting, ideally with a group of workers he hasn't met before, and kick the organizer out. He'll say he's from the company to share their side of the story.

So you, like - you look the part. You smell the part.

GONZALEZ: Mmm hmm.

SHAW: What is your boss voice?

GONZALEZ: It's very like, Yowei, we're a family. But now with this, like, union thing going on - right? - like, I just feel like it's going to really attack what you and I believe in. So I just want to give you the facts. I want you guys to just know - right? - like, what you're really getting into, so y'all don't make the same mistakes that so many other people have made. I'm here for you guys.

SHAW: And if people try to speak up and raise concerns in the training, Alejo will snap at them.

GONZALEZ: And I'll be like, oh, is this person, like, somebody who speaks up a lot in meetings? Like, is this somebody who's always causing trouble? You should just watch out with that next time you're at work, right?

SHAW: Oh, my gosh.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GONZALEZ: So after I do this training, I kind of reveal, like, hey, by the way, I'm not with the company. Like, I'm with - you know. And people just take a big breath, like, holy shit, we were scared, right? Sometimes people are, like, crying.

SHAW: People have literally cried...

GONZALEZ: Oh, yeah.

SHAW: ...In your trainings?

GONZALEZ: It's scary.

SHAW: And then after the emotional release, Alejo makes space to process what happened. And they'll talk about strategies to combat the fear. Like bingo - a classic organizer tactic - literal bingo cards with anti-union techniques and talking points.

GONZALEZ: We're a family, right? My door's open.

SHAW: He'll explain why these points aren't valid. And then when workers get called into one of these meetings, they can play this game - literally bring along their bingo cards to shake up the power dynamic.

GONZALEZ: They're like, bingo. And then, like, everyone starts cracking up.

SHAW: But Alejo thinks what's most important, whatever the tactic, is workers experiencing their power - working together on actions and feeling their solidarity in power growing. He told me about a campaign he's working on right now where workers are fighting for higher wages to keep up with inflation. And so he pitched an idea to the bargaining team.

GONZALEZ: I'm going to Restaurant Depot tonight. Tomorrow morning, we're all going to meet up. I'm going to give all of you a bunch of empty bottles of ketchup. Now, I want you to put those bottles all over the office and not, like, obviously, like, in places like - kind of hide them - right? - so where someone's going to see it, and they're going to be like, is this the fifth ketchup bottle I've seen today?

SHAW: Like, what's going on?

GONZALEZ: Yeah, like, am I going nuts? So, you know, a week comes by, and managers start asking workers like, why is there ketchup bottles everywhere? And so I told them - I was like, if anyone asks, you say it's because we need to catch up to wages.

SHAW: Ahahaha. It's like dad joke plus performance art.

GONZALEZ: And they work together, right? They're doing stuff together. You're not telling them collective power is powerful. You're really getting them to see it. When you feel like it's winning versus being told it's winning, it's just a totally different message you're sending people.

SHAW: But it's not all fun and games, of course. Alejo says there are lots of tactics that go into building solidarity that are less shiny and still effective - getting everyone to wear the same button or color to work, petitions. As for the more absurd tactics, Alejo says they should only be applied thoughtfully and strategically with extreme care - always tied to a concrete plan set by workers. Because he has seen these tactics backfire before, like the union getting painted by management and even workers as childish.

GONZALEZ: I've got to show them I'm not just, like, a theatrical idiot because this is real shit. These are real people's lives. And this is not a game.

SHAW: There are always risks. And the revenge of the boss is real. Like, one organizer told me this horror story about a group of workers who presented a letter of demands to their CEO. Not long after, the CEO just shut down the entire company and fired everybody.

So have you seen workers get fired during an organizing campaign?

GONZALEZ: Yup, I have. I can think of one specifically who got reinstated, and he was livid, man. Lord, he was livid. And I was just so upset with myself.

SHAW: Alejo says he makes it a point to go over the risks at every step with workers to be transparent and ethical, which to me makes this whole process of building collective power so compelling - how powerful workers must have to feel to lay it all on the line.

How do you know when a worker's feelings have truly changed? Like, is there a tell?

GONZALEZ: Yeah. I mean, there's just this, like, change in almost, like, how people carry themselves - right? - and how they walk, right?

SHAW: For example, there was this very sweet and quiet grad student Alejo worked with on a campaign.

GONZALEZ: Like, not, like, super outgoing.

SHAW: And after a few organizing actions, Alejo noticed the guy seeming a little different.

GONZALEZ: I notice he's got a chain on, like a silver chain. I was like, OK.

SHAW: And later, when they were phone banking...

GONZALEZ: He comes in, like, chest pumped out, like he's been working out and shit, right?

SHAW: (Laughter).

GONZALEZ: I was like, what is going on with you right now, you know? And he was just like, man, we're going to fucking win. And I was just like, OK, man.

SHAW: And then there are the more profound transformations that move Alejo to this day. He told me about meeting a woman on a picket line he was supporting and how one day she seemed upset and not just about her work situation.

GONZALEZ: And so I just did a friendly, like, hey, how are you doing? Like, are you OK? Just, are you OK? And she wouldn't talk to me. But talking to some of the other folks, the story came out that her partner was just, like, a flaming garbage bin of a human - just a piece of shit. He made her feel small, like, made her feel, like, irrelevant.

SHAW: The union ended up winning their campaign - got better raises, better protections, better health insurance.

GONZALEZ: That day, we found out - we were all on the picket line together. And she had that look - like, that, like, oh, my God, we won. Like, she didn't even believe it was going to happen.

SHAW: And a couple of months later, Alejo ran into the woman at Target. And this time, when he asked her how she was doing...

GONZALEZ: She was just, like, very energetic. I was like, oh, she's just, like, happy the union won. And she's like, I also left him.

SHAW: She'd left her toxic partner.

GONZALEZ: And she just, like, was just, like, so much more confident, you know? Like, she didn't - he didn't deserve me, you know? Like, she just was, like, fucking radiating, man.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHAW: I've actually heard a version of this story from several union organizers. Someone even put it like this - they know they're winning a campaign the moment the women start divorcing their abusive husbands.

GONZALEZ: They'll just realize their worth. You know, like, they'll realize, like, I don't deserve this shit at work, and I'm gonna go home to this shit. It's just a beautiful thing knowing your fucking worth. Like, feeling like you're worth something, you know, and that it's worth fighting for. Sometimes it takes a long time to get people to realize it. Sometimes people never want to realize it. But when you can get people to feel like they have just even a drop of power, it's a beautiful fucking thing that happens with that.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHAW: That's it for today's show and our season. You can find links to Peter Belmi's research and Jeffrey Pfeffer's book "The Seven Rules Of Power" on our episode page. This episode was produced by Ariana Gharib-Lee, Abby Wendle, Liza Yeager, Dan Girma and me, with help from Lee Hale, Clare Marie Schneider, Andrew Mambo, Phoebe Wang and our incredible intern, Sara Long. This season of INVISIBILIA was also produced by Kia Miakka Natisse. Our supervising producer is Liana Simstrom and our supervising editor is Neena Pathak - fact-checking by Rachael Brown, research help from Susie Cummings and Will Chase, mastering by James Willetts, legal and standard support from Micah Ratner and Tony Cavin. Our technical director is Andie Huether, our deputy managing editor is Shirley Henry, and our senior vice president of programming is Anya Grundmann. Special thanks to all the students of Peter Belmi we talked to. Also Stephanie Luce, Jonathan Smucker, Nelini Stamp, Jo Freeman, Steven Pitts, Bill Fletcher, Pam Smith, Joe Magee, Barry Eidelman, Nicole Kligerman, Claire Hirschberg, Patrick Cate, Adelina Lancianese, and Jennifer Schmidt. Our theme music is by Infinity Knives and additional music in this episode provided by Ramtin Arablouei, William Cashion and Conor Lafitte. And that's a wrap. Thanks so much for listening, everybody. We'll see you next season.

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