Power can be a strange, challenging, opportunistic and even vexing business and marketing resource. If you have it, you can seemingly mow down the competition with ease. If you don’t, you might want to get out of the way, fast. Sometimes victims of a powerful opponent will cry “abuse” and at other times, the mighty and seemingly powerful come crashing down to earth when they let their importance get to their heads.
We see the latter situation most often among media celebrities, such as Jeremy Clarkson’s fall from grace when he physically attacked a producer, apparently (according to The independent) because he “was served a cold meat platter instead of a steak.”
Powerful individuals often exploit others’ weaknesses. They adapt their stories and strategies to win, sometimes intentionally, sometimes just naturally. Trouble is, if they run over everyone so that there is no one left, they can be left holding a rather empty bag.
However, you still need to listen to and respect powerful individual’s strengths, as standing up to someone in power, when there isn’t a reasonable solution to the issue, turns into an exercise in self-mutilation.
With these thoughts in mind, I invite you to consider you are in the power picture, both in relation to your colleagues, immediate business marketplace, and your overall environment.
If you have power, can you moderate or manage it for healthy and positive objectives? (The best example of this, I see, are wealthy individuals dedicating their lives to philanthropy. At a certain point, their wealth from their original business/entrepreneurial success keeps multiplying, and they can stand back and focus on how they can reallocate their resources for challenging and important issues and causes.)
If you lack power, and feel someone in power is abusing things, can you stand up and fight back, or should you look instead at how you can constructively work within your apparent constraints? I sense in most cases a direct confrontation with power invites you to massive failure. Best to stand aside unless you want to experience real pain.
Finally, if you are somewhere in the middle, like most of us, can you apply your strengths effectively to marshal and add to your resources, and effectively skirt the powerful competitors around you? I know of no better way to do this than to combine personal and business competence with effective and respectful social and personal management. Work well, within your niche, and reach out beyond it where you have confidence, and you’ll succeed even if you cannot slay the giant.