Power Corrupts or Reveals?

A great article by Adam Grant (author of the book Give and Take) discusses whether power corrupts or simply reveals the inherent flaws we each carry.

Power frees us from the chains of conformity. As a team of psychologists led by Adam Galinsky finds, “power psychologically protects people from influence.” Because powerful people have plenty of resources, they don’t need to worry as much about the negative consequences of expressing their values. For givers, power is associated with responsibility to others. This means that power often grants givers the latitude to help others without worrying about exploitation by takers or sheer exhaustion. For takers, on the other hand, power is a license to advance their own interests.

It’s always tragic when we see individuals who appear so promising fail just as they reach the zenith of their career. Why do some people self-destruct?  More importantly, how can we all avoid doing the same in our own small world.  Do we have the ability to overcome or suppress these natural tendencies or are we doomed if we hold these qualities.  I hope we have the ability to compensate, because I’m certain we all have some of these negative qualities.


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