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Career Success, Personal Growth, Leadership Library

Leadership Library Selection: Powershift

In business, power plays a big role. Who holds the power in a situation? Who has the power in a negotiation? The idea of "power" can oftentimes have a negative connotation, but in Daymond John's latest book, Powershift, he shows the reader how much integrity and patience play in achieving it. 

Daymond John is the CEO and founder of FUBU, the $6 billion global lifestyle brand. He's also probably better known as an original member of ABC's hit show Shark Tank, where he uses the skills he's learned in business to invest in and help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. 

He's no stranger to negotiation, and he's passing down what he's learned in Powershift: Transform Any Situation, Close Any Deal, and Achieve Any Outcome, written with Daniel Paisner.


The term "lifestyle brand" is one John would approve of. In business, you remember the brands that stand for something. In the book, John teaches how to boost your personal brand and extend business lessons into your own life. The first thing to do is to identify who you are and what you believe in. From there, you want to walk the walk and talk the talk, building your reputation slowly. 

Patience is key. Like all great leaders, John understands first-hand how success does not come overnight. To shift power in your favor, you need to put in the time to develop a reputation. This means leaning into what you stand for even if there are no immediate rewards. 

In time, the long-term investments you've made in yourself will pay off. And, as he writes, this payoff is the powershift: "The ability to build influence, to negotiate for the things you need and want, and to nurture your relationships to take you where you want to go."

How Prep Shifts Power

You also have to think outside the box. John writes about the long period trying to get FUBU off the ground in the pre-Internet, pre-influencer era. 

He decided to give away shirts to bouncers at the trendiest New York City nightclubs. Why? Because these bouncers were the biggest guys around, and they became physical billboards at key fashion centers. One bouncer happened to be the head of security for a major hip-hop producer and set a meeting for John, catapulting his brand forward. 

Thinking creatively also means doing your homework. Going into a meeting like the one John secured through his outside-the-box marketing meant that he needed to do a lot of prep work to understand the people in that meeting. 

He writes about how the majority of Shark Tank contestants are ill-prepared and don't do their research into the show, the investors, and what type of deals work. It's rare to find the person who puts in the work, but it's that person who shifts the power. 

And that dog-eat-dog business world? Don't be the dog who bites, John advises. Instead, lean in with integrity to tough situations. Nothing will shift the power away from you faster than overconfidence or arrogance. After all, business deals are done with other people.

Key Takeaways: Powershift

In his book, John writes about: 

  • The importance of personal branding and sticking to your beliefs
  • How to identify your strengths and use them to carry influence
  • Thinking creatively to enact change
  • The value of hard work and how to "rise and grind"
  • Why he invested in the game-changing Bombas brand 
  • The importance of communication and self-awareness to succeed
  • How to lead with integrity and why it pays off in the long term

Read Daymond John's Powershift: Transform Any Situation, Close Any Deal, and Achieve Any Outcome and learn how power plays in the boardroom and beyond.