Politics in the workplace, without a doubt, has numerous connotations.
Power-grabbing, back-stabbing, bad-mouthing, rumour-mongering are just a few examples. Yet the truth is no one in the executive suite can claim they have never been involved in political and power plays in organizations.
The difference is whether one has leveraged on politics for the collective good or for pure self-interest gains. This seems to verge on ethical use of power and politics which hovers on subjective judgments. It raises more questions than answers.
Yes, it is easy to get into the rabbit hole once such a route of dialect is taken. But the most difficult leadership dilemmas are those has to be confronted not avoided.
Essentially, my proposition is that the leadership journey should be a quest for power and it should make effective use of it.
- You can’t be a leader if you have no followers. The very decision to be a leader entails a responsibility to others – the followers.
- It is a responsibility to Use Power with Grace.
- Huh? What is that? Use Power with Grace? Sounds like some anecdote from a religious sermon.
- Well, it is. Without a doubt, the parish church is probably one of the oldest political institutions where power and politics is ferment ground.
- To use Power with Grace would help others to level up their capabilities with the might of the leader’s institution, without any expectations of a return to the individual leader.
- This contrasts with the route to power which entails various influence strategies to reach a position to make decisions and wield control.
The use of Power with Grace is the end game of leadership. The legacy of leadership is posterity. It is left behind after the leader steps down or steps aside.
Is it sustainable?
Does it continue to benefit the larger good, beyond the followers who will in time pass on?