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'Your mothers warned you about my coming! Fear The Moment!!'

  • Social power involves control over the outcomes of yourself and others, in terms of resources like time and money.

  • One key aspect of power is the opportunity to “make things happen”, as in the case of a manager being able to dictate what tasks their employees work on.

  • Another key aspect of power is the responsibility to “take care of things”, as in the case of a manager ensuring that they assign their employees the right tasks, alongside relevant guidance and support.

  • Some people tend to focus more on one aspect of power than another, and people’s focus can also shift across different circumstances.

  • To be effective, powerholders need to consider both aspects of power, in the right combinations and at the right time.

The classic example of a powerholder who causes harm is someone who focuses only on the opportunities that power gives them, without taking sufficient responsibility for their decisions, statements, and actions. But, there can also be a different kind of harm in failing to use available power, when that power can be used to do good. That can happen, for instance, if a leader is so worried about choosing wrong that they end up making no decision at all.