I work super hard, and no one seems to notice. I'd like to be respected more. It's not clear to me that my job is really valued. I'm always a bit nervous about what might happen to me. I am a competent, interesting person with good ideas and nobody here really has my back.
I was very fortunate early in my career to meet a mentor who showed me that you could be a very successful business leader by respecting people and sharing power. There are many examples of executives that go the other way—for me to win, you need to lose. They hoard power and treat people like crap. I might have believed that was necessary without a good role model.
You can certainly have a form of success as a power hungry asshole, but thankfully it's not a requirement (and does not fit my definition of success). I also believe that building a strong team that feels acknowledged and respected is a much more reliable approach to achieving success because it gives you more real power in the end.
I built my own career from entry level engineering and marketing positions up through many levels, ultimately becoming a CEO, by sharing power.
Here is a way to think about what I refer to as “imagined power.” People often ask me if it was hard for me to go from running really large organizations to having my own (implied—“much smaller”) company. This ...