Leaders Playing a Power Game

Leadership and Leaders were always exciting, fascinating, and inspiring topics for me, either to read about, observe, and explore or perform as one. I have read many books on the topic, and have done many seminars, programs, and certifications. I have been learning from some great leaders, and also from some not-so-great, to be polite. Going through the process of becoming a leader at different levels myself, was a very beneficial insight to the leadership game.

We usually notice only the outside game, the picture, the act, the performance, and the influence of a leader and his or her leadership style. But what is perhaps even more interesting and what differentiates leaders from each other, is the ‘inner game’. It can be called also the ‘inner power game’, with which each leader is faced when executing his or her leadership role.

I have always wanted to be around good leaders to observe and learn how they make decisions, how they balance the tension, expectations, interests, and their ego, how they perform in different circumstances, and what kind of effect and influence they reach with their personalities and leadership style. The statement in Bob Marley’s song, ‘You can fool some people sometimes but you can not fool all the people all the time‘, is true for leaders and leadership. Leadership is a ‘people’s business’. You can not be a leader without people to lead. You can not perform well as a leader if you do not have an efficient relationship with your team to create and achieve goals. Also, we people intuitively know why we (do not) trust someone to lead us, why we are (not) willing to follow, and who has just a title and who is a true leader.

What makes the difference among leaders is whether leaders come from the place of using their power to empower others or to use it to overpower, whether they intend to create or to force, whether they are really leading people or they are just being in power. There is a quote from an unknown author that perfectly describes this distinction: “We humans are all alike, the difference is the heart.