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Power -- how much is too much Topic Introduced by YCG Philosophy Café, 5 April 2001 (Handout)

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Presentation on theme: "Power -- how much is too much Topic Introduced by YCG Philosophy Café, 5 April 2001 (Handout)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Power -- how much is too much Topic Introduced by YCG Philosophy Café, 5 April 2001 (Handout)

2 Introduction Some people have problems accepting power -- perhaps possessed by the same sort of monomania as power players have only it’s an aversion to power. Like power players these people have equal heights of success in their lives because they too “Do whatever it takes to achieve their goal” -- either subconsciously living out mental patterns and directions or otherwise. Aim of the evening: Try out tonight’s exercise or at your own peril suffer the consequences. 1.Question your mind’s value system and laugh at yourself when necessary 2.Suspend your disbelief of seeming overly optimistic or too pessimistic ideas 3.Enjoy the brainstorming!

3 Content 1.Identify the internal driving forces of power: *Essence of power * Enemies * Friends, family, authority *characteristics of leadership and followers * Problems and paradoxes * Enduring features * Dealing with followers 2.Identify current and possible future external driving forces of power: * Social, technological, political, environmental * Predetermined elements * Critical uncertainties 3.In search of a balance of power in the world and within ourselves * Using “scenario” as a tool to guide our future * Aims of scenarios * Mindset & Changes (internal output-external input) * Setting up Scenarios * National and Personal Visions (Suggested Further Reading)

4 Group Discussions 1.Do you consider yourself a power player, leader or follower? (Try out the checklists) 2.Give other scenarios of possible new trends and driving forces that will shape your world to come within the areas of: * Social * Technological * Political * Environmental Consider each area in the context of: * Known elements -- slow changing phenomena (e.g. infrastructural growth), constrained situations (e.g. limited resources), things in the pipeline (e.g. demographics), inevitable collisions (e.g. demand for low tax - high benefits). * Uncertain elements -- question assumptions.

5 Group Discussions 3.How would nations or we achieve balance of power? Develop 3 plots. Consider the following national vision or plot examples: *Winner & Loser Plot * Challenge & Response Plot *Evolution Plot * Revolution Plot *Cycles Plot *Plot of Infinite Possibility *Lone Ranger Plot *My Generation Plot

6 Power Players: Dealing with The Enemy CHECKLIST Use Your Enemies Make People Come to You -- use baits Guard Your Reputation Talk Less Conceal Your Intentions Win Through Actions not Arguments Use Selective Honesty and Generosity Appealing to Other Self Interest when Seeking Help Pose as a Friend -- Work as a Spy Crush Your Enemies Totally Be Unpredictable and Terrorize It is Dangerous to Isolate Yourself Choose Your Enemies Use Surrender as a Tactic Do only things that create Impact Play the Courtier Re-create Your Own Image Keep Your Hands Clean Act Boldly or do not Act at all Plan to the End for Results Control others’ Options Offer Fantasies Discover Others’ Tragic Flaw Master Timing Ignore what you cant Have Stir up Enemies’ anger to trap them Strike at the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter Work on others’ Hearts & Minds to win Support Use Mirror Effect Never Reform Too Much but Preach Change Point of Victory is the Moment of Greatest Peril Assume Formlessness

7 Power Players: Dealing with Friends,Family & Authorities The Friend & Family –Never Trust too Much –Stand Out and Be Known –Use Other People’s Time –Avoid the Unlucky –Keep People Dependent on You –Use Absence to Increase Respect & Honor –Don’t Commit to Anyone –Play Dumb –Be a Cult like Leader –Make Accomplishments seem Effortless –Behave Regally –Create Spectacles & Parties –Behave like others when You don’t Think like them –Avoid Free Lunches –Avoid being in a Great Man’s Shoes –Never appear too Perfect-admit harmless Vices The Authority –Never Outshine the Head

8 Some Leadership Characteristics Can leadership be acquired and mastered? Is leadership a “birthright” or is it true that “everyone can be a leader”. CHECKLIST Eloquent, intelligent, physically attractive, unusual personality, charismatic Keenly interested in other people or the opposite -- antisocial Loss a father when young, have learned self reliance and to lead others and perhaps had an unhappy childhood Traveled outside of your homeland Ambitious, energetic, resourceful, tough, tenacious, takes risks and is resilient to failures to reach goals Concerned with moral issues Invests years to acquire expertise in communication skills and knowledge in strategy and organizational politics. Comes up with solutions that satisfy disputing parties In control, taking time out for reflection to identify important issues, trends and to get the big picture Embody your stories into your own life Build up sphere of influence and supporting organization to ensure that your leadership will endure Trust own ideas and insights above those at the authority and will challenge them when necessary. Identifies with leaders, imitates and challenges them Feel “chosen” and special -- able to achieve feats beyond normal individuals. Competitive and enjoy achieving a position of control. Seeks power to resolve anxieties and attain goals or simply for the intoxicating effects of power

9 Some “Follower” Characteristics CHECKLIST Wish to prove your primate heritage “to imitate” Perennially searching for authority figures to follow, migrating from group to group -- in search of the perfect community that never appears In search of a structure, hierarchy and a mission Wish to see someone else hold the power or not wish to strive higher than what you’ve achieved so far because you’ve reached a certain age Want to be associated with leaders who have the size, perceived strength and physical attractiveness Associate with people who have the control over desirable resources Associate with people who have power of individual ideas, who are intellectually scintillating and who are particularly appropriate at this present historic moment Attracted to leaders with personal characteristics like charisma, spirituality, blend of ordinariness and extraordinariness, able to appeal simultaneously to different kinds of people Interested in ultimately achieving and using power An outstanding follower who look to gain inspiration from model leaders -- so that one day, you too will emerge as a Great Leader

10 Suggested Further Reading 1.The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, Joost Elffers 2.The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian 3.Leading Minds, An Anatomy of Leadership by Howard Gardner 4.The Art of the Long View, Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World by Peter Schwartz 5.Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin 6.Your Money or Your Life, Transforming your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin


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