Sunday, May 15, 2022

34. Great Power

The Lines

Bottom. [6] A man in a lowly position may have great personal power and ability, but if he tries to exercise it, he meets with misfortune. Ability is not the only factor to consider. In order to be effective, a man must be in a position to use his abilities in a proper and suitable manner. If he tries to act with force and authority that is not natural to his station in life, he will be seen as a self-promoter and a pretender, and he will be rejected with scorn.
2. [6] When a man begins to rise in the estimation of his fellow men, when he begins to move into a position of respect, when his abilities are recognized and a position of power is opening to him, he becomes capable of moving ahead into positions of trust and responsibility. But it is at just such a time that he must be especially careful. If he does not rise to the occasion, he is thought lacking in ability. If he forces himself forward too vigorously, he is considered pushy and over-confident. He is destined for good fortune, but only if he moderates his behavior and carefully -- and quietly! -- takes command, while avoiding being too aggressive in his dealings with others.
3. [9] When he is elevated to a position of power, the inferior man brandishes his power and revels in making a display before everyone of his authority. But this causes him to become entangled in all kinds of reactions and resentments with his associates. He is not respected for this, but is looked upon as a faker who is trying to impress those around him with his new position and authority. The superior man, on the other hand, retains his equanimity and avoids phony displays of power. He realizes that he will be respected for the way he exercises his powers when necessity calls them forth, or when some crisis demands his action, not when he arbitrarily makes a display of his authority. He avoids the empty appearance of power and authority and thus gains the respect of his peers.
4. [9] When a man first ascends to a position of power, he meets with some small amounts of resistance and perhaps even resentment. He comes in as an unknown quantity, and his subordinates are not sure that he can be relied upon to fully exercise the authority of his new position. But if he moves ahead as necessity demands, dealing directly with problems and with whatever challenges to his authority as they arise without shrinking from them for a moment, in time he will be successful. Obstructions will fade away, and any thought that he may have been too forceful in dealing with them will evaporate. He need not rant and rave or explode into rages. Such open displays create problems of their own as associsistent attention to each problem as it arises. Eventually, his persistence will pay off, and his quiet but determined style will be respected.
5. [9] If a man once felt that emotional displays were necessary in order for his authority to be respected, he should realize that such excesses actually do no good. It may appear that this behavior got results, but the truth is, the man can drop such demonstrations and everyone, including himself, will be the happier for it. Outward emotional displays actually indicate a weakness within because the man fears being taken advantage of if he does not continually come on with a belligerent, aggressive attitude. This is just not so. The man should relax. If he will approach problems on a one-on-one basis and never fear coming to grips with exactly what is wrong, never backing off for fear of putting someone on the spot, life will be easier for him and all associated with him, and everything will be done more efficiently than before.
Top. [9] If a man forges ahead relentlessly, he eventually arrives at a point where he encounters nothing but difficulties. He cannot go forward, and it is not feasible to go backward. He has pushed so hard, and the situation has becomes so complex as a result of it, there is nothing that he or anyone else can do. No matter what he tries, things only get worse, and the man is at his wit's end. The solution? Stop! Step aside, look at the situation, and take a moratorium. Let the matter rest, and in time it will sort itself out. It is not so that every problem must be met with some form of active move. Sometimes the wisest thing to do is to do nothing
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