CAREER DEVELOPMENT / AUG. 22, 2014
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How to Personally Adapt to the Dynamics of Power-driven Careers

For decades, men and women have sacrificed time and resources to quench their irresistible thirst for power. From government institutions to the private sector, the battle to clinch powerful positions is not only bruising, but it’s also a source of heated confrontations by arch rivals that are willing to go the extra mile to show who’s boss. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Because once you clinch a powerful position, then you had better get prepared for a long and restless career journey coupled by lots of opposing forces trying to pull you down.

Opposing forces you’re likely to encounter
Most powerful positions today involve decision making that revolves around a network of various sectors. For instance, if you’re the Minister of Finance and you impose Austerity measures such as tax hikes on your country, then the tax burden will be felt across the board. So when we talk of opposing forces here, we’re not just referring to efforts from enemies within your organization, but we’re also talking about powerful people who’s toe’s you’re likely to step on and trigger opposing forces such as:

  • Extreme prejudice by powerful enemies appointed to audit your every move particularly when corruption allegations are levelled against you.
  • Manipulation through armtwisting and Blackmail tactics to carry out corrupt ’favours’ and bend the rules in favour of your arch rivals.
  • Superstitious and misplaced allegations fuelled by unnecessary rumours around powerful circles you associate with and also through communication channels such as social media, blogs and so forth.
  • Unnecessary invasion of privacy especially by media tabloids trying to tarnish your image with every human flaw you manifest.
  • Undeserved isolation and social stigma by a mediocre and misinformed population that’s driven by rumours, gossip and slander.
  • Wreckage of fond friendships and acquaintances as you’re compelled by circumstances to make tough decisions that conflict with their interests.

How then does one Personally Adapt to the Dynamics of Power Driven Careers?

 

From what we’ve read above, being in a powerful position isn’t easy. In fact, the opposing forces we’ve discussed above cannot be completely done away with. However, to effectively counter their detrimental effects, you’ve got to:

#1 Be indifferent and Integral in Decision Making
I can’t emphasize enough the need to confront the temptation of handing out leadership favours to powerful acquaintances. And I’m not saying that it’s wrong. But even as you do that, you’ve got to caution your powerful connections that sometimes, conflict of interest is bound to happen. But despite conflicting opinions here and there, the notion of indifferent and integral decision making still stands irrespective of one’s affiliation.

#2 Choose your Battles wisely to Avoid Unnecessary Confrontations
As I reiterated earlier, you will indeed face massive opposition, but as Winston Churchill once said, "you will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks." Similarly, you can’t be an effective leader if confrontations constantly take center stage in every key decision you make. Because after all, some dogs would never dare to bite you.

#3 Seek Discreet yet Effective Vents to Release your Emotional and Psychological Frustrations
Since you’re human, it’s highly likely that you’ll experience emotional and psychological breakdowns once in a while. But the last thing you want is to become the subject of ridicule and public scrutiny when you vent such frustrations in public. And thus, you’ll need discreet yet effective vents to do this such as physical exercise, meditation, interaction with friends and so forth.

#4 Have a Range of Contingency Exit Strategies In case things get out of Hand
Being powerful doesn’t entitle you to become a perfect leader. And at one point, you’ll find yourself facing overwhelming opposition despite doing what’s best for the involved party. This will therefore call you to devise several contingency exit strategies to avoid being disgracefully thrown out by people that would be more than glad to see you six feet under.

#5 Establish a Boundary Respectful Boundary Between Business and Private matters
For an enemy to effectively bend you, then might go as far as invading your private matters. This can range from kidnapping of your loved one(s) to frequent death threats against your friends. It’s thus necessary to ensure as much as possible that you’re alone in the public limelight. Otherwise, you’ll suffer severe emotional and psychological trauma if someone you hold dear ends up suffering because you exposed them to rogue and powerful enemies.

From what we’ve read above, many would opt out of powerful careers before they even clinch them. And that’s understandable considering the likely repercussions that one is likely to encounter. But still, for some of us, we have our own reasons as to why it’s worth the shot. Ultimately, it boils down to how prepared we are to personally adapt to the dynamics of power driven careers. As Sun Tzu once put it, "Victorious warriors win first, then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first, then seek to win."

Sourced Images: Power & Paparazzi

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