Wow You’re So Powerful!

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Nearly all men can stand the test of adversity, but if you really want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Abraham Lincoln
Image by George Eastman House via Flickr

All too often I’ve watched someone be placed in leadership, and then they become a mean control freak. Or someone who feels the only way to lead, is to knock people down. The worst, is watching them try to destroy people to get what they want. In all cases, I see what Lincoln was talking about.

If power causes you to treat people like trash, then in my mind, that’s what you character is made from. As a leader, you should be lifting your people up! You should be looking for opportunities to grow them, not knock them down. You should be focusing on how to take your people to the next level, not how to get them out of your way.

I can never say it enough, a leader’s job it to make their people successful, not the other way around! If you can’t see how you’re doing that, then you’re not. If you’ve received your leadership from stepping on people, then that is what you will breed in your team; people who treat people like pavement.

Spend some time today just focusing on what your leadership looks like. Are you the kind of person that people love… or fear? If they love you, they tell you. If they fear you, they appease you. Try and be truthful with yourself about which it actually is.

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3 thoughts on “Wow You’re So Powerful!”

  1. Ahhhh yes. I once quit a job due to the treatment I received by a “superior”. It’s sad too because I loved the job, and I was really good at it. It’s amazing how much influence- good or bad- a leader has on a team. Under the previous leader, I flourished and felt a part of something much bigger than just myself. But, with the wrong leadership, everything turned selfish for me because I was so miserable working with someone who spent their time knocking others down, rather than building them up. In retrospect, turns out this leader was pretty miserable with herself, and I think that’s what you have to watch for. It is the responsibility of higher ups to make sure a miserable person isn’t leading a team….get them counseling, help, or whatever it takes. An entire team shouldn’t suffer for the personal problems of a leader.

  2. and sometimes this varies by person…depending on what they are facing in life and their own fears. I am still learning about me and hopefully making improvements!

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