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Chapter 3. Power and the Project Manager

Chapter 3. Power and the Project Manager

An exercise often used in management training sessions on power is to begin by asking, “How many people here like power?” The class’s typical response is interesting and instructive. One or two people immediately shoot their hands upward. The majority of the group shuffle about, look around at classmates, and finally raise their hands with a certain timidity, as if admitting that liking power is a fault to be confessed. Another small group resolutely refuses to raise their hands at all, often professing they simply do not like “controlling” or “manipulating” others.

This is one of the central problems with discussing power—few of us are entirely sure what power actually means. We understand its effects and occasionally are horrified by its blatant misuse, but we are uncertain of its actual characteristics. As a result, “power” lends itself to such misinterpretation and misunderstanding that it is difficult to discuss the subject objectively.


  

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