Authoritative power bestows a leader with myriad responsibilities. However, it matters significantly how a person reacts to the power that one possesses, which qualifies it as the correct use of power or abuse of power. In many occasions, though, I never trusted the truth behind the observation that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts totally, until I got a chance to taste the feeling of power. Researchers and other scholars have asserted that when power corrupts, the functioning of society is affected, because the effects of corrupted power are immense (Lou, 112). Effects from the misuse of power include communication breakdowns, loss of property belonging to the society, hurting of people’s feelings and lack of sanity in running whatever task or organization that power dictates. However, not all scholars agree with the aforementioned prescriptions, as they indicate that absolute power can result in a notable development particularly in instances, where the subjects tend to be uncooperative. Thus, I got my firsthand experience regarding the absolute power, when I was elected president of my primary school, and I had to admit that the absolute power corrupts totally.
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This essay expounds on facts regarding absolute power and provides my firsthand experience regarding how absolute power corrupts.
Firstly, it is essential to note that absolute power leads to communication breakdown among the members of a governing board. This is because not all members can side with the methods a leader employs in his practice. There are members who uphold the prescribed integrity and morals in their practice, and they will not relent in advancing complains in admonishing your leadership technique if they deem it unethical or corrupt (Lou, 101). Thus, in some instances, this leads to communication breakdown, which in turn affects your leadership because you cannot be successful as a leader if some of the members in your cabinet do not support you. This in turn, gives credence to the quote united we stand and divided we fall. Notably, this results into some functions that a leader is supposed to delegate end up being ignored, which means that one has to handle all the responsibilities by himself because some members are on a go-slow or rebel the leadership style that a corrupt leader employs.
Secondly, corrupt leadership leads to the loss of public property. This happens because a corrupt leader is selfish in his dealings and is more inclined on benefitting himself rather than the people under him. In addition, a powerful-corrupt leader is not honest in his dealings because there will be some foul play when it comes to the processes of an organization. For instance, the awarding of tenders or contracts follows a certain protocol, but such leaders will choose to favor their affiliates instead of giving such contracts to people who merit. This also leads to the loss of public or members money because unscrupulous deals advanced by the powerful-corrupt leader benefits only him (Lewis, 74).
Thirdly, there is a lack of sanity in the exercise of power and hurting of other people’s feelings. It is a common notion that sometimes power gets to the heads of some leaders, and this affects their potential to make rational decisions. Thus, a leader who exercises absolute power sometimes tends to make spontaneous decisions, which when he contemplates about, he realizes how irrational the decisions were. Notably, this matter affects significantly the person in authority because the decision one makes without thinking about their consequences might end up being detrimental (Lewis, 114).
On the other hand, some scholars assert that absolute power is necessary in some instances to ensure some goals are accomplished (Lou, 32). This emanates from the fact some people are reluctant or ignore their roles, which makes a group or organization to lag behind. Thus, research intimates that in such instances, exercising of absolute power in terms of force is necessary to ensure the achievement of the set goals.
Despite the argument by those supporting the exercising of absolute power, I feel that absolute power is corrupted, because it results into animosity among people in leadership, loss of public or an organizations funds, and communication breakdown among the members of a cabinet. In addition, it affects the leader adversely because of insubordination that is a result of rebellion from the members of the cabinet who do not subscribe to the leadership style that a leader employs.
My firsthand experience regarding how absolute power corrupts took place when I was the president of our local youth club. As a leader, who was elected by a majority of the group members, I felt I was in a position, to induct new members while at the same time dismissing members that I thought were not productive in the group. In addition, I used to embezzle funds that belonged to the group through indicating that the cash was used for some project that benefitted the club, which was not the case. This went on for a while until discontent started to mount within the group. It was the first subordinate who alerted the members of how I was not cooperative in the leadership process, and that they had discovered some funds were missing, and they were not properly accounted for. Firstly, I noticed the treasurer of the group being uncooperative with me then my assistant president rebuked me on my face, concerning how I was leading the group. At first, I thought the two were just envious of my position, which many cherished they would be, but after a while, intense discontent grew that posters were hung on the corridor leading to my office that indicated the members were tired of my unproductive leadership. Eventually, the members requested a meeting with me whereby they outlined their grievances, and indicated that for the group to progress they do not need me as their leader or part of the group anymore; thus, that is when it dawned on me that absolute power corrupts.
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