Responsible Leaders

Power for Responsible Leaders

We need more responsible leaders – today more than ever.

So I am writing a book on Power for Responsible Leaders to support people who want to make a positive difference.

As part of my research for this book, I am reading Professor Pfeffer’s book called ‘The 7 Rules of Power’. I have also read ‘The 48 Laws of Power’ by Robert Greene. Greene’s book is unashamedly unethical. He advises readers to take credit for others’ work and to ‘pose as a friend but work as a spy’.

Pfeffer’s work is avowedly values-neutral. His argument is, ‘this works, so just do it’.

I thought I would take Pfeffer’s 7 Rules and put a responsible leadership spin on them.

So rule number one is ‘Get out of your own way’.  In other words, when people find out what they need to do to get power (flatter your boss, promote your successes, network ruthlessly), they get depressed and criticize the world in which these rules work. Pfeffer talks about the way people say they feel ‘dirty’ to use these rules.  He counsels that readers and students of power should get over their reluctance to use these methods. They should challenge their beliefs that seeking power in this way is unethical.

Power for Responsible Leaders

Power for Responsible Leaders – How to do it.

For me, this is like telling a lion not to be a lion.  I don’t think Pfeffer gets leaders who are ethically driven.

So my take on ‘Get out of your own way’ is ‘Claim your Inner Power’.  This involves:

  • Finding your ‘why’ as Simon Sinek would put it. When responsible leaders connect to their ‘why’, to their higher purpose, to the meaning of their being on this planet, they get a surge of energy. If you have a vision as to how you can make people’s lives better, you can connect with your higher Self and this Self gives you the power to make a difference as only you can.
  • Tune into your senses. If you feel wobbly, unsure, uncertain when undertaking your leadership task, these feelings are pathways to your inner power. Explore them and find the source of power beneath them.
  • Seek to connect with people like yourself. There is power in numbers and you don’t have to take the weight of being the sole leader working for change on your own (which of course is impossible anyway). Link up with like-minded people. Support other responsible leaders. Feel a sense of identity rooted in responsible leadership as a movement. I like this sentiment (which I adapted) having watched the film Tolstoy:
    • Since unethical leaders always band together and constitute a force; honest people must do the same. It’s that simple… effective it will be depends on the coincidence of other wills with your own

Next time I will write about the second law: ‘Break the Rules’.

About the Author: Karen Blakeley

Karen Blakeley

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