Power trippers walk amongst us in many shapes, sizes and guises and wield their “I’m smarter/more important/more worthy than you” stick in many different ways. Do you recognize any of these?
- The supervisor or manager who insists on reviewing each and every piece of documentation before it goes out. Their lack of trust in the knowledge, expertise and experience in the people they hired to get a job done kills motivation and creativity.
- The co-worker who believes length of service bestows super powers and treats newer team members with condescension.
- The micro-managers who check, double-check, triple-check and alter someone else’s work until it turns into their work, their project, all under the guise of managing a project.
- The co-worker who consistently forgets to forward messages or hoards information, instead of sharing it with others on the team.
- The nitpickers who are blind to the 90% of work done well and focus only on helping someone get better at the 10% that could still use some work.
- Co-workers, supervisors and managers who play favourites. They build up and surround themselves with their posse, shutting others out of offers for lunch or opportunities to take on new challenges.
- The co-worker who embarrasses others with their jokes and pranks.
A friend of mine used the term “dysfunction junction” to describe this type of workplace. Dysfunctional workplaces simply do not produce or provide an environment where customers, internal and external, want to be in for long.
Some people are strong enough, confident enough to withstand the jabs, digs and deliberate attempts to belittle and demean. Some simply refuse to deal with the drama and take their knowledge, expertise and experience elsewhere. Others stay but turn into warm bodies, doing exactly what they need to in order to stay out of the range of fire. Their productivity, creativity and passion die.
Power is not the same as authority. Power may be seized and is built on fear. Authority is a gift given by those who trust their leader.
That’s my two cents … what do you think?