People Dislike Power, But Managers Should Promote A Balanced View

people dislike power

​In today’s times, many people dislike power. Many individuals can be found which are against the idea of power. There are many who associate the ideas of injustice, inequality and poverty, with people who have misused power to create an environment that is unfair, unjust and unequal for the masses. In addition, many also associate power with dark and immoral imagery. This association is due to various historical and religious reasons, which won’t be discussed in this post. However, the fundamentals of power, the importance of power, and the personality change that occurs as a result of power, will be discussed.

So what is power about? Why is it important? Well, power is about freedom. Having power, increases one’s own freedom. If you think about it, freedom deals with the ability to take actions that are desired. On the other hand, power is something that enables people to exert their will or do what they want. These concepts sound very similar. Not only does power allow an individual to get what they want, but they can also use it to block others from some form of attack. Though having power is very important, modern managers must be careful to use it in a sensible fashion, seeing as though they have less power than they need or would like.

Getting back to the reason that people are against power, part of the answer has to do with the fact that a significant personality change can occur as a result of attaining power. Once a person has attained power, they may develop negative personality characteristics, that are unfavourable to the followers. An example of this would be the development of narcissism. There is also the potential of the development of positive characteristics, such as the development of charisma. For example, the development of charisma could happen in the following way. First, a leader could request something of the followers. The followers could respond in a favourable way and give the leader everything that is asked for. In noticing that the followers are more than willing to oblige, the confidence of the leader could grow such that the leader could then begin to act in a more disinhibited and confident manner. In noticing this newfound attitude of the leader, the followers could respond favourably with positive feedback. This positive feedback could further disinhibit the leader, to the point that the leader could actually develop a great charisma. However, many times, the attainment of power leads individuals to lose their connection with their more humble past powerless selves.

However, it is important to have a more balanced view of power. People shouldn’t think of power just simply in terms of the potential negative consequences of what would happen if too much were assigned to a few people. It is important to not forget, that historically, all of the great achievements were done by people who had power. Or that out of all of the major crises, only great power was able to overcome them. And all of the good things which were defended, required adequate power. Power was necessary for all of these great things. Therefore, power is necessary. The question that should be asked is: How could power be regulated so as to avoid the negative outcomes?

 

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