How do people in positions of power avoid exploiting others? Power can be addictive, impair judgement, and result in destructive behaviors. Some individuals have a total lack of awareness that their behaviors may be inappropriate, unhealthy, or hurtful. Others have complete disregard for the impact that their actions have on others. Powerful people have difficulties acknowledging wrongdoing, mistakes, flaws, and vulnerabilities in themselves, but can quickly blame, defend or justify their position. In other words, the first and often most difficult step for powerful individuals is to acknowledge personal responsibility for their actions and accept the need for change. Change is never easy and often requires a different mindset and new behaviors. The new mindset might be “my time is not more valuable than anyone else’s time,” or “the rules of life apply to me too.” The action plan requires the person to “give back” and offer their time, resources, and talents to people and organizations in need. Humility comes from remembering where you came from and who you were before you hit it big. Any new activity where you can just be an ordinary person will help you stay grounded and develop an identity separate from your success. Embrace humility and accept that there is a power greater than you. Stay connected to people in a healthy way, seek an accountability person, and focus on significance rather than success. Significance comes from impacting people’s lives in a positive way. Significance rules over success every time.
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