Bernie Anderson
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3 Steps to Pretend Power (and Loneliness)

Be the top-dog

Be the top-dog

Empowering people is one thing.

What if you want the opposite? What if your goal is to make the people around you feel completely powerless? What if your goal is to get to the top of the heap?

Gotcha covered this Friday morning.

Three easy steps to make yourself feel powerful and the people around you feel completely inept.

1. Maintain expectations, but withhold key information.

Withholding information is an important practice for this particular kind of power-sucking leadership. It enables you to hold power longer. When you have information people need to do their jobs, then people need you. And who doesn’t want to be needed?

2. Say things like “I’ve got your back” — then don’t support any one person’s independent decision making.

This works well. Trust is important. So you’ve got to build trust by allowing your people to think you’re being supportive. But don’t be supportive. This is especially effective when the details are worked out in a public setting. When everyone watches you throw someone under the bus, they will fear you. You have the power at that moment. And it’s glorious.

Here’s the exception to this one. Be sure to find one person you really like. Always publicly support her decisions no matter how asinine. That way people will see how loyalty and submission pay off. It might even create a competitive environment for gaining your good grace and favor. This is good for you.

3. Take credit for the work of your team when things are good. Assign blame to the people you don’t like when things are not good.

This completely protects you. When things go as they should, you were the manager! You get the credit. I mean, sure. Give the appropriate amount of fake-humble deference to some team members so you don’t look like a complete jerk. (Preferably your favorite team member in #2.) But make sure your upline knows how well you did driving this team to succeed.

But, when things do fall apart, you know who to throw under that bus. They weren’t “team players” anyway, right?

There you have it. Do these three things and you have all the power. You’ve proven to everyone that you’re the boss. You’re the leader. You’re the one who controls it all in mighty (little) empire.

Of course, they do also say it’s lonely at the top.
And we wonder why.