Sunday, June 12, 2005

Dealing with position power

As I'm learning from Stephen Covey's 8th Habit, it made me thought of the people I met in the course of my advocacy work.

The biggest challenge for me is dealing with people who draw their strength from position power. As they exert no effort to build moral authority, they've build a lot of weakness into themselves and in the relationships they had.

As a result, codependency conspiracy comes into play. The people who are fearful or may benefit from this position power work in a "wait until told" mode.

Disagreement is denied and ignored. It creates a silent audience that resents the heavy-handed treatment and resist the announcements these people make through a silent boycott.

The people in position power are not interested in seeking for win-win and the third alternative. Worst and sadly, they want to control all. Those who are in this codependency conspiracy as well are most likely to benefit from it. There's no quality relationship existent as authentic openness and trust never develops. As they get enlightened, they fall out and become part of the silent boycott with all shame to the support they have initially given.

I share the belief of Robert K. Greenleaf, founder of the servant leadership movement. The only authority deserving one's allegiance is that which is freely and knowingly granted in response to clearly evident servant stature of the leader. I chose to follow them because they are proven and trusted as servants.

I refuse to accept authority of existing institutions just because they have position power. However, there are instances that I've changed my perception when they refuse to use that authority and power except as a last resort. Their moral authority increase as they subordinate their ego and worked hard to build trustworthiness. Kindness is not enough. It's their actions that count the most.

As Abraham Lincoln said, "the surest way to reveal one's character is not through adversity but by giving them power." It is sad when you see good people turning to dangerous chameleons because of power. May we have the strength to resist in becoming part of a codependency conspiracy and not be afraid to speak of what we believe is right.