Bob Sutton, in his blog post 12 Things Good Bosses Believe, emphasizes how the power of a role inevitably creates blind spots. Number 1 on his list:
I have a flawed and incomplete understanding of what it’s like to work for me
And he concludes with Number 12:
Because I wield power over others, I am at great risk of acting like an insensitive jerk — and not realizing it.
I like how he says it and shows it so bluntly: power corrupts.
But it is not the power of the role alone. It is the fit between the power of the person and the power of the role. Think of it like clothing. The role or position is a piece of clothing, but the body who wears it has a lot to do with how it fits, to stretch an analogy just a bit. (more…)