Archives for February 2012
In the absence of dominance, when power and control are questioned, many people will leap forward to try to assert themselves. Part of what makes people vie for power and control is a need for security. In the absence of security people can, and often do feel panic. Fear causes people to try to grasp control in many ways. Because of our culture of domination, people often use forcefulness to gain control. Also, because our culture is ostensibly non-violent, forcefulness and dominance, must be subtly communicated.
Subtle communication is a means of creating plausible deniability. Subtle communication might be a boss stating that job performance is poor, this statement can be threatening enough to force a subordinate into agreement. By evaluating job performance and NOT addressing the issue of employment, the boss can deny that a threat has occurred. Humans know this tactic at a very early age, witness any teenager who is being denied, you will see that threatening is part of our social language.
The thing is that threatening may give the threatener a sense of security; but it is a false sense of security. True power resides with influence and cannot be purchased with control and dominance. Dominance is a person telling you what to do – within the purview of the job function, threatening you to gain your submission and then telling themselves that they are secure because of their power over others. While this may be the way that many employers operate, is not an effective means to accomplish goals. Managers who operate this way are toxic to their organizations. Control and dominance are inherently temporary and inefficient. They are temporary and inefficient structures of power because very few people are willing to be within the control of another person, if not treated appropriately or paid well, they will find a way to go somewhere else. Therefore experience and expertise are constantly at a loss.
For those people who have power and control and use it in the absence of influence, the game of “rightness and wrongness” is a very important game. People with power and control will use it to gain agreement from subordinates as to the “rightness” of their decision. This agreement will always be forthcoming from well paid subordinates. It is the very definition of sycophant.
Those who do chase the agreement of subordinates – perhaps – have some measure of intelligence, because even a very “wrong” thing can be accepted as “right”. Just look at the concept of groupthink: absence of personal responsibility, and a lack of individual creativity. The controller decides on the “correct” reality and the threatened sycophants give it energy and life.
In conclusion (ha-ha Mrs. Brownlee [my 4th grade english teacher]): power and control is no more than currency granted by others to you for your temporary use and should never be mistaken for security. Threatening is a means by which people use their position to maintain control and power over others. Often, those who threaten, practice subtlety in order to create deniability. Owning power and control is not special in any way in the course of management. Having influence over others is a much more effective and efficient means of management. People often use power and control to gain agreement for their faulty actions because being “right” helps them feel more powerful and secure.
Security is a paradox because the more you chase it, the riskier it is. To influence, is the very act of being self-secure.
Retail Prices: I promise, if it says “Made in China” no matter what the price is, the retailer only paid $1.99 for it.
Oh, but I live in America. Greed, if it is successful, is very definitely okay in America. I live in the land where the rich get to make all of the rules about taxes and hedge funds and capital gains… People look at me funny when I get upset about greed. But listen! I only get upset, if your greed is based upon some one else’s suffering!! I am all set with greed, it is OKAY! But really does your retirement fund have to come out of a middle class family’s grocery budget, really, does it?
Leadership is a sacred calling. Leadership is that virtue that puts a community’s needs in front of individual needs. Leadership is not for everyone, indeed, true leadership is rare, must it be?
If you were observing me from this perspective, you might mistakenly believe that I am weak. Passivity and weakness do not equate. It is a mistake to believe that I am weak, indeed, I am one of the strongest people I have ever met.
I think this is important today because I see too many people taking one or two events and setting an evaluation into stone around those one or two events. I think people need to be aware that time elapses, that perspective is inherently one-sided and that the only true perspective is the one that we look deep inside of ourselves for.
This is important to know because if you listen or speak the fear and pain, the anger goes away.