Six Stages of Personal Power in Organizations

The following about stages of power is something I learned several years ago which is taken from Janet Hagberg 1994 book having to do with the above title.  This might apply to my institution of higher learning in Central Asia, or maybe to the political chaos created under Stalin, or perhaps to our American democracy as it is existing now.  See what you think about leaders and their defining characteristics while in power:

Stage One – Powerlessness – They lead by domination, force; they inspire by fear of being hurt; they require blind obedience.  Characteristics: secure and dependent, low in self-esteem, uninformed, helpless but not hopeless.

Stage Two – Power by Association – They lead by seduction, making deals; They inspire by using dependence; they require favors returned. Characteristics: learning the ropes, learning the culture, dependent on supervisor/leader, new self-awareness, stuck but moving.

Stage Three – Power by Symbols – They lead by charisma and personal persuasion; They inspire by a winning attitude; they require loyalty no matter what. Characteristics: ego-centric, realistic and competitive, expert, ambitious, charismatic

Stage Four – Power by Reflection– They lead by modeling, integrity, generating trust; They inspire by hope for one’s self and the organization; they require consistency, honesty. Characteristics: competent, reflective, strong, comfortable with personal style, skilled at mentoring, showing true leadership

Stage Five – Power by Purpose – They lead by empowering others, service to others; they inspire by love and service; they require self-acceptance, purpose. Characteristics: self-accepting, calm, visionary, humble, confident of life purpose, generous in empowering others, spiritual.

Stage Six – Power by Gestalt – They lead by wisdom, a way of being; they inspire by having an inner peace; they require anything, everything. Characteristics: comfortable with paradox, unafraid of death, powerless, quiet in service, ethical, on the universal plane.

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