How the difference matters in organizational life and leadership:
Early on, I learned that I’m better with influence than power. And, in fact, I’m not power-hungry. My sense is that to be a good operator, you need to be power-hungry. You need to care more about power than prestige, and probably more about power than money, and more about power than intellectual stimulation. And people who are good operators tend to want power so they can get stuff done. They want to wield it. And there’s a cost to having power, which is that the people you have sway over actually own you, especially if you’re in a business where there are more jobs than there are good people.I like having influence. I like being with interesting people and helping them become better and being part of the flow of ideas. And that’s a little bit uncomfortable, as a boss. It doesn’t make sense to people that the boss, who is kind of a figurehead and maybe a confidence-giving parent figure, just wants to be an experienced helper. As a person of authority, I’m kind of teacher-consultant more than wielder of power.