June 14, 2006
Balance power and integrity
Where can one find individuals who effectively balance
power with integrity?
Just about anywhere. In politics, they are called statesmen,
(more correctly, today, states-persons) willing to bridge
partisan divides and work on behalf of everyone. In business
they are icons of leadership, courage and social responsiveness.
They seek to do well without leaving scorched earth and
dead bodies behind them. They are clear about the mission
of their work and are always aware of inevitable conflicts,
that when dealt with properly, will not destroy the diverse
fabric that is community, local or global.
Power, wealth and fame seem to fall more easily upon
gracious human beings. Those who see through the mirrors
of narcissism and the parasites who are the "hangers
on" - they wear their mantle of authority with ease. These mentors welcome
opportunities to assist those who are still striving mightily to make sense of
the process itself.
A senior executive, who attended our first MBA Impact:
Essentials workshop on May 23, said that to his surprise,
way too many folks he encounters are what he called "cows." Cringing when he pronounced the word, I asked what
he meant. Immediately, he explained that C.O.W.S. stood for Concerned Only With
You have met these folks. They finish their 20-minute
nonstop lecture on everything about themselves, their
families and their hobbies. Then they ask you what
you think about them, their families and their hobbies.
Sitting next to these folks on a long flight is painful.
For them, it really is All About Me - or AAM - as was
this same executive's description of those who parade
around in the name of teams, while really demanding
the spotlight and the adulation.
To be counted among those who exude power with integrity:
- Seek to understand before demanding to be understood.
- Keep conversations focused on others.
- Congratulate and encourage verbally, including sending
- Communicate confidence in the future, with enthusiasm.
- Assist those who will likely never be able to repay
Power with integrity is predictably gracious. Are you?