Category Archives: power

Putin Dead?

The rumor mill is busy today. Russian president Putin has not been seen in public since March 5th. is he, therefore, dead? Well, most likely not. But as vox reports, while this story may be a bit silly, the reality behind it is serious.

The reality is that Putin has centralized power to himself .And there is no succession plan  for when he does exit the stage. That raises the possibility of confusion, and perhaps violence.

On a broader level, this also tells us something about modern institutions. They are less easily run by a charismatic leader than they perhaps once were. We might think of it this way. Charisma is a broadcast effect. It can be effective in delivering a powerful message to a group. But it is a one way message. It does not empower and it does not allow for flexible decision making.

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Want Power, then Sacrifice Listening

Most people would say that they would like more power. More precisely, they would like to be more powerful. This would appear to be especially true among young people, who are confronted with such intense life challenges.

And you can become more powerful. Here is how. But there is a catch. The more you focus on becoming powerful, the less you will be able to listen.¬† Now consider Mr. V. Putin. He is no doubt a “powerful” man. How well do you think he listens? Consider how well he would take to an objective assessment of Russia’s prospects in the next decade.