May 28, 2008

Tips for handling power

In her book 'Bad Leadership', Barbara Kellerman suggests some tips for those in power, to help them avoid turning bad. These include:
  • Limit your tenure. When leaders remain in power for too long, they tend to acquire bad habits
  • Share power. When power is centralised, it is likely to be misused, and that puts a premium on delegation and collaboration
  • Get real, and stay real. Virtually every bad leader loses touch with reality somehow
  • Know and control your appetites. These include the hunger for power, money, success and sex
  • Be reflective. Virtually every one of the great writers on leadership emphasises the importance of self knowledge, self control and good habits. Acquiring such virtues is hard. Intent is required, but so is time for quiet contemplation
  • Encourage a culture of openness in which diversity and dissent are encouraged
  • Bring in advisers who are strong and independent
  • Avoid groupthink. Groupthink discourages healthy dissent and encourages excessive cohesiveness
  • Establish a system of checks and balances

1 comment:

Stuart said...

In power or in life, absolute personal freedom can only be achieved through absolute personal discipline.

(probably of Buddhist or Tantric Hindu origin, but equally valid as an interpetation of Aristotle's description of anarchy as the highest ideal of politics)