You are human, so there is a good chance you will make a mistake when you exercise your power. Most people don’t expect those in power to be perfect. It’s a myth that you must walk on water to lead effectively. All most people ask is that those with power walk in humility, be transparent, and use their power for the benefit of the people who are following them. And when you make a mistake (which you undoubtedly will), own up to it and be willing to face the consequences. It’s tough to hear, but if you misuse your power, people will not want to follow or continue to partner with you. If this situation arises, you may go through a period of isolation and will need to rebuild.

This common occurrence in the journey of a leader means that its critical to not be condescending to other people when life is going well. Power has its privileges and I believe it’s okay to enjoy the perks of your position from time to time, if its morally right and doesn’t harm those looking to you for leadership. I’ve seen leaders who didn’t misuse their power, but they did something influential people in their organizations didn’t agree with. So, those people painted the leader as having done something horrendous in order to oust them. These occurrences are common for leaders, so you need to be aware prepared as best as you can.

You not only have to guard against misusing your power, but also the perception of abusing your power. When people have it in for you, it won’t matter how well you dot your I’s and cross your T’s, they’ll find a reason to attempt to get rid of you. I say, ignore these people as much as you possibly can and keep moving in the positive direction you are going in. But overall, when you are working with people who have no mal intent, keep them in the loop of moves you are making and use them as sounding boards. At times, you will need to put ego aside. If you’ve built up enough trust with these people, they may give you the room necessary to take a risk and perhaps, execute an idea they don’t agree with. But you’ve got to keep them informed. Unless necessary, try not to be secretive. This creates a natural cloud of suspicion. You don’t have to tell everybody your business but matters impacting your stakeholders should be openly discussed.

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