Success killer Hierachie: Power - positive or negative?


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Whoever wants to secure power claims purely through hierarchy risks (secret) contradiction. Authority is only recognized by digital natives when it is justified by deeds. Institutionalized authority "ex officio" is immediately questioned. And the classic status symbols have lost much of their radiance. Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®

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Anne M. Schüller's Profile anne-m-schueller_portrait-mit-hutAnne M. Schüller is a management thinker, keynote speaker, business coach and multiple award-winning bestselling author. She has repeatedly been named Top Voice by the business network LinkedIn.

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How does your company deal with power?

Of course, communities need moderate systems of order and inevitable hierarchies. But they don't need a water head. This is primarily about the felt hierarchy, the "hierarchy in the head" and its dangerous consequences.

Those who celebrate the hierarchy do it deftly, and they choose their words admirably, for they are seminar-driven. But their attitude, one also feels between the lines. In the end, everything goes to a question: How will you deal with power?

Decisive questions are

  • How is hierarchy lived with you? Top class, down mass?
  • How many formal status symbols, the so-called crutches of power, still exist?
  • Which verbal and non-verbal supremacy marks are celebrated like?
  • Are subservient signals detected in time? And how is it avoided?

The light and the dark side of the power

Power in itself is neither good nor bad. What matters is how you use them. There is a light side and a dark side of the Force. It makes the good better and the bad worse. The ridge is narrow and the temptations are immense. "His new job has gone to his head," the saying goes.

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Brain researchers report changes in the amount of hormones, especially testosteronespiegel increases. One becomes a high-T person, often one of the “dark triad”: psychopaths, narcissists, and Machiavellians. The possible consequences: unscrupulousness, excessive need for recognition, positional haggling and self-service mentality.

About the Power Drug Testosterone

If testosterone is at work, the whole company may be rebuilt to impress the investor, the economic press, and bonuses, regardless of whether this is entrepreneurial and serves the good of all - or not.

The power testosterone dampens empathy, which was useful in the individual case, because in the fight you had to be able to kill if necessary. Clearly, testosterone can also be a wonderful driver, it leads to growth and progress and leads us powerful. But in the wrong brains it is a devil's toy. It fires escalation, leaps beyond permissible boundaries and fabricates the dreaded tunnel vision.

Power and fear are a couple

Where power is, there is always fear. The fear of those who push up is to miss the connection. And the fear of those who have reached the top is to lose the power of privileges. As a result, power-hungry people hermetically seal off their area of ​​responsibility, remain in silo-thinking, and treasure their knowledge rather than share it.

Everyone who attains power, therefore, must take care of the hell, because power changes the personality. The increasingly careless handling of power empowerments leads to blind self-assessment, to conscience, to pathological delusion, and possibly to crime. Social competences. Feeling cold. And the self-critical insight dries.

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Authority forbids rejections

Often there is no one there who is calling for a stop. Authority forbids rejection. There is, however, a close relationship between a career advancement and the concealment of mistakes and difficulties against the boss.

If the elite and the workforce understand themselves as “we up there” against “them down there”, then the break is inevitable. In such a context, interpersonal cold is the lesser evil.

Where fear rules, creativity has no chance

Above all, human resources are largely wasted because a scenario of threats, intrigue, resentment, and mania of control is building up.

The focus is inward. Everyone is busy with themselves. There is little time left for customers. Creativity is the key resource of the future.

No one buys mediocrity

Thinking against the rule is one of the most authoritative Success Factorsto differentiate between average and mediocrity. Because mediocrity no one wants to buy anymore. Mediocrity is not even remembered.

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But how is it possible to create something extraordinary, something truly unique, when streamlined employees and a mule-sized crowd of fellow travelers populate a company - and all are always waiting to look up instead of out to the customer?


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German edition: ISBN 9783965965263

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German edition: ISBN 9783965965263

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English version: ISBN 9783965965270 (Translation notice)

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  1. Anne M. Schüller

    Series start on berufebilder.de: Success killer hierarchy

  2. Harriet Lemcke

    Women are therefore well advised to wait in male packs until the status issue has been resolved. Most women, however, want to get ahead on the matter - especially in business meetings - and rush forward with their undoubtedly good suggestions. The result: they are not even heard in the men's group. Better to wait 15 minutes and watch - then the gentlemen will have clarified the hierarchy. Now there is room for content and “woman” can bring her competence to the man with the correspondingly self-confident appearance.

    • Simone Janson

      Thanks for the helpful advice to consider this difficult subject differently. It is always said, women should get more, but I have had similar experiences as you.
      How about a guest contribution to the topic?

  3. Katharina Daniels

    ..the old monkey man in the office :-))

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Katharina,
      ;-)))

  4. Katharina Daniels

    RT @SimoneJanson: Success killer hierarchy - 1/4: Felt & institutionalized power -

  5. Competencepartner

    Success killer hierarchy - 1/4: Felt & institutionalized power: Communities need ... #profession #education

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