Back in January we wrote about what happens when someone becomes a boss in a post called, Bosses Beware! The findings of a USC Marshall School of Business study revealed the changes in perception that often accompany the increase in power that comes with becoming a boss. (Hence our warning to all you bosses out there!)
An article in the latest issue of business magazine, Entrepreneur provides further evidence of how and why power can corrupt the mind. According to new studies, power makes people less able to feel empathy for others.
“Powerful people tend to ignore peripheral data and don’t process information about the less powerful folks around them. Their tunnel vision stays locked on the actions that will the praise, status, or glory they crave.”
“The powerful have decreased recognition of others’ concerns, allowing them to throw their weight around without qualm.”
But don’t fret. Just because this happens doesn’t make you a bad person – it’s your brain’s fault. Annette Simmons, author of Territorial Games, explains, “The person really believes they’re doing the right thing for the right reason.”
Ultimately, the onus is you to overcome the obstacle your brain may present you. Awareness is the first step; whether you’re a newly minted boss or a veteran manager of people. And now you’re armed with the knowledge necessary to keep from falling into the trap of being corrupted by power.
“Leaders have to find ways to break through the mind lock and the knee-jerk rationales.”