Paradox of Careers and Power

So, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about power, authority and the qualities that are possessed by some great leaders. I keep running into the same paradox over and over again found in certain careers. What I find is those who most desire a certain position may be quite likely to be the worst candidates for that position. This was first noticed in the following real life example.

My current city is without a mayor. City Council was prepared to vote him out due to some issues concerning his performance. In turn, he resigned, but not without demonstrating the controversy, fighting and politicking that occurred amongst the City Council members. So who wants to work with a bunch of people who fight amongst themselves, some who are self-serving in their public service. No one in their right mind will WANT that position, to go face a monumental task and most likely be attacked from all sides.

However, a certain type of person looking at the prestige, the power and the respect that seems to follow a mayor, even the mayor of a 10,000 person town, might chose to pursue such a task. People looking for power for power’s sake tend to abuse power and use it for their own advantage. Power also has the tendency to corrupt even the most innocent of people.

So what kind of person will use power the best and least like to be corrupt by it. Those who do not seek power and understand that by the process of seeking power they will be corrupted by it’s influence.

In short, the person most seeking power as mayor, is the person likely to be least wanted in the position. The person least seeking power, is the person likely to be most wanted in the position.

One can see the same thing with our favorite TSA agents.

The person wanting to perform enhanced pat down procedures on other human beings, is the person we least want to actually perform those procedures. On the other hand, the person least wanting to perform enhanced pat down procedures on other human beings, is the person we most want to actually perform those procedures.