… consider this. People rise to power being ruthless and manipulative. That’s a popular view anyway. Yet some studies show, ”that leaders often emerge from communities not because they are ruthless, but because they are skilled at managing social relationships.”
Here’s the paradox that actually seems inevitable. When you gain power, people treat you differently. A self-fulfilling prophecy unfolds: I am powerful therefore I have many other sought-after traits – more than others around me.
Consequently, once one becomes more powerful, one becomes:
• More aggressive.
• Less concerned with seeing the world through other people’s experiences.
• More accustomed to being the center of attention and acting savagely.
• Less open to others who disagree.
• More confident that one’s views are innately “right” and the most important.
…. is more likely to:
1. Welcome of diverse people and ideas and thus able to attract and keep smart talent.
2. Recognize and benefit from the smartest ideas put forth by people in the group.
3. Rely on self-led teams (short-term, not ongoing) to govern and to propose improvements.
4. Support project leaders with the best talents and temperament for the project goal.
5. Be more productive, adaptive and member-serving than power-concentrated, top-down organizations.
6. Avoid dictator-style control that inevitably evolves out of the concentration of power in a few people or one group over the other groups.
So, how can we: