Governance and the Arrogance of Power

Over the centuries there has been a tendency by great nations to become arrogant with the accumulation of power. The leaders of such nations thought that they were right and that they had a major responsibility to correct the world. This attitude results in the arrogance of power and at some point others will gang up against the rise of one country. America has been in the center of controversies for many years and continues to have issues with the Islamic world, since their interference with Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria,etc. 

Since the beginnings of the state system in the 16th century, international politics has seen one clear pattern–the formation of balances of power against the strong. Countries with immense military and economic might arouse fear and suspicion, and soon others coalesce against them. It happened to the Hapsburg Empire in the 17th century, France in the late 18th and early 19th century, Germany twice in the early 20th century, and the Soviet Union in the latter half of the 20th century. (Fareed Zakaria)

The same behaviour affects companies as well. Arrogant and over confident leaders are more likely to overpay for acquisitions and engage in other risky strategies. Leaders ought to cultivate humility. They certainly need to build cultures in which people can and will disagree with them constructively. They should have trustworthy people at all levels who are honest and will provide good feedback, not ‘yes men’. Leaders also need to talk less and listen more to avoid getting into the arrogant mode of ‘ my way or the highway’.

The Companies identified as great places to work have continued successfully in existence  for many many years and the others experience short term success and disappear into the horizon. 

Use power to help people. For we are given power not to advance our own purposes nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one just use of power and it is to serve people.“- George Bush

The arbitrary use of power, with little explanation of the rules and no involvement in decision-making of our people will cause people to rebel. Involving people  in decisions doesn’t mean that you are giving up your authority. It means acknowledging that our people have  the right to participate in decisions that affect them.

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About surenraj

“Views expressed are my own”
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