A Robert Half Management Resources survey finds that three-fourths of workers say integrity is the top attribute of corporate leaders, while just 10% say competitiveness a primary virtue. (Workers 55 and over placed a greater emphasis on fairness, while workers 18 to 34 were more likely to look for a strategic mindset.)
But a recent article on behavioral research in Harvard Business Review shows people usually gain power because they're empathetic, collaborative, open, fair and sharing. But those qualities begin to fade as they rise in the ranks. "The powerful are more likely than other people to engage in rude, selfish and unethical behavior," Dacher Keltner writes.
Keltner offers an assessment to determine if power may be corrupting you, asking questions such as "Do you frequently interrupt people?" or "Do you check your phone when others are talking in meetings?"
While these might not seem like earth-shattering questions, Keltner says they "give you an idea of whether you are being tempted in problematic, arrogant displays of power."
I think one of my favorite questions is "Have you left a room or lunch table messy, assuming someone else will clean it up?"
As Keltner points out: "What may seem innocuous to you probably isn't to your subordinates."
I think everyone should consider taking the assessment -- you've got nothing to lose and lots of integrity to gain.
Find it here: https://hbr.org/2016/10/dont-let-power-corrupt-you
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