Good Power



Book Title:  Good Power: Leading Positive Change in Our Lives, Work, and World
Author:  Ginni Rometty
Publisher:  Harvard Business Review Press
List Price:  $30.00
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Publication Date:  March 2023
ISBN:  9781647823221
Reviewer:  Christa Ward
Review Date: October 2023



In “Good Power,” Rometty makes an optimistic call to action to anyone seeking to affect positive change in their families, communities, and societies. Reflecting on her 40-year career at IBM, Rometty’s values-based mindset sets the tone of the book as she focuses on the ‘how’ of change as much as ‘what.’ The collective parts of good power – its heart, soul, muscle, and brain – go beyond adding value to the individual. They are the essential elements for positive global change.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is divided into three parts: The Power of Me, The Power of We, and The Power of Us.

The Power of We covers Rometty’s career at IBM and explores the five themes of her professional and leadership journey: Being in Service Of; Building Belief; Knowing What Must Change, What Must Endure; Stewarding Good Tech; and Being Resilient.


Rometty’s writing is crisp and she efficiently gets into the details of what good power is and does.

  • The heart of good power builds belief. Rometty embraced good power at a young age and was intentional with her influence: providing stability to younger siblings in the wake of their father’s abandonment; discreetly coaching a male classmate to challenge their professor privately after an exam; and making values-based decisions in her first management role at IBM. She recalls being mentored to run an entire vertical business, and her hesitation when offered the job. “My biggest obstacle was not a lack of ability, but self-imposed self-doubt. I could have been celebrating! That episode began to crystallize an idea that would prove true time and again: growth and comfort never coexist.”
  • The soul of good power lives to be in service of, to consider and fulfil someone or something’s needs to the best of our abilities. Mid-career brings an inflection point in Rometty’s journey when a trusted mentor demonstrates that “passion can be acquired when it doesn’t come naturally, and summoned, conserved, and applied selectively.” This revelation pays dividends when she is chosen to head an insurance business and then, the biggest role of her career to date — leading the merger with Price Waterhouse’s Consulting business. Visibility grew and larger roles followed, culminating in her appointment as IBM’s ninth (and first female) CEO.


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How to cite this review: Ward, C. (2023).  Good Power: Leading Positive Change in Our Lives, Work, and World, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue II, February. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/pmwj136-Dec2023-Ward-Good-Power-book-review.pdf

About the Reviewer

Christa Ward

Dallas, Texas, USA


Christa Ward is a Senior Program Manager and accomplished leader in the technology industry. With a strong background in project management and communications, she has successfully launched startups and led transformation programs. Known for her innovative approach to increasing operational efficiency, Christa recently spearheaded a broad change initiative that resulted in significant cost savings for her organization. She holds an MBA from Texas A&M University-Commerce and is certified as a PMP and 6 Green Belt. Christa has received awards for driving change through values-based practices.

She enjoys reading memoir and journaling.

Connect with Christa at linkedin.com/in/christaw.

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