When power is used, whether obvious, subtle, or hidden behind a smile and glazed eyes, it influences a response from the recipient. Power speaks loud and clear, even if silent. People with power and influence may believe they have achieved their purpose, which may be compliance or whatever they seek, but I do not think so. If manipulative or abusive, what those in power get in return is less. Or worse, they sow the seeds of sabotage. While it might rarely be obvious, it is sabotage, nevertheless. Frankly, how can it be otherwise?
While power is remarkable when used for good, when it is used for evil, the results are devastating, even to the point of self-destruction. The historical proof of this is self-evident.
As a student and teacher, I became aware of my power to influence people, but not before I witnessed the blindness of others in power. Like the influential people I worked with, I always thought my problems were with others and that my job was to fix them or boot them. I and those who employed me learned simultaneously that the problem was rooted in our need to fully understand how we were wielding it.
My students were bright, creative professionals and entrepreneurs who hired me to solve their staff problems. I credit their good senses and courage because it takes courage to “know thyself.” They accepted my assertions that we, the leaders, were “the problem to the answer.” As a result, we all grew, as did our employees.
It is amazing what being open and vulnerable can do to anyone who has been closed and invulnerable. CHANGE IS OUR VERY HUMAN GIFT. Sy