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John P. Kotter on What Leaders Really Do by John P. Kotter

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5

Power, Dependence, andEffective Management

AMERICANS, AS A RULE, are not very comfortable with power or with its dynamics. We often distrust and question the motives of people who we think actively seek power. We have a certain fear of being manipulated. Even those people who think the dynamics of power are inevitable and needed often feel somewhat guilty when they themselves mobilize and use power. Simply put, the overall attitude and feeling toward power, which can easily be traced to the nation’s very birth, is negative. In his enormously popular Greening of America, Charles Reich reflects the views of many when he writes, “It is not the misuse of power that is evil; the very existence of power is evil.”1

One of the many consequences of ...

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