Diplomacy in power and leadership

Power meant nothing when our own people's fate lies undecided, where poverty, corruption and crime rate has engulfed each passing day.

Representational image (PHOTO: Pixabay)

Power meant nothing when our own people's fate lies undecided, where poverty, corruption and crime rate has engulfed each passing day. Fear of going out at dark places is becoming a reality in this modern society, broad daylight crimes, violence, and rapidly surging pork-barrel policies which often lead to skewed development and regional imbalance. Sometimes a question often comes that, “did the darkness has slowly clouding over our hope and vision”. Nowadays the perception of power turns into a negative implication and is often linked with abuse, those who are hungry or need for power are often labeled as authoritarian, dictators, two-faced, and narcissists. Yet also without power, human behavior cannot be influenced onwards the desired outcome. Although power has strong negative characteristics, its importance cannot be denied or overlooked. What matters now most is the use of power that is bestowed upon us in the right direction for the right cause but power in the hand of incompetent person will not only degrade a society but also gives messages to the future generation that it is easy to grip power and play.

Speaking briefly to the leaders who refuse to walk with purpose, they become a puppet to the environment. Purpose is what gives us a sense of direction. Here is a saying that “A leader without purpose is like a ship without radar”.The former UN Secretary General made a profound statement that “if leaders fail, the people will lead”. He flashed out his statement by adding that “People want responsible leadership. And responsibility is our response to our given ability to do what is right.

Research has shown that power can be exercised in either a self‐serving or responsible way. Also when going in-depth being a self‐serving does not make one a bad leader, nor does acting responsibly makes someone a good leader. People will critic you by your principles, morals and the results you produce that will require you to influence those you lead. It can also be mentioned that most of the prominent leaders, do share similar ideas and views but their approaches to power can be different, as do their values and character.

When discussing power and politics, there is a Children’s game called the “King of the Hill” and the game itself is far back from 1850 in England. It is a very simple game yet this game sums up a lot that we can learn about power, politics, and leadership. The fundamental concept of the game is that there will be one person on the top of the hill or mound and this person is considered as the King of the hill and the remaining players are at the bottom of the hill. The main objective of the game is that the other players need to go up the hill simultaneously and need to push the king off the hill. And the one who is successful in doing so becomes the new king of the hill.

When analyzing the game strategy one may question who has the most power, the king, or the people at the bottom? It may seem that the people from bottom could easily take down the person at the top but the king may easily defend, yet the king’s vulnerability can be exploited when the crowd advances together also the king has to spend most of this time defending the top but these are just defensive tactics.

Assuming the king decides to share the power and position on the top of the hill with someone else. The king may pick a trusted confidant one who might help him in defending at the top of the hill and not betray that trust by pushing the king aside, this decision might be a good move. But this requires a great deal of persuading the co‐defender that there is something to be gained by doing so; these tactics are clearly shows ones diplomacy to maintain the king's authority.

The King in this game indicates that there is a certain hierarchy of power to perceive at the top level. However, the power that the king enjoys at the top of the hill only exits as it is granted by the people. In reality, power is relational and does not belong to any one person. Furthermore, power is not embodied solely in an institution. Power is present at every level of society, and the exercise of power is, strategic and productive “not simply oppressive.”

In this present society, we are getting confused and slowly started to forget our roles and accountability as a citizen, each one of us contributes to any function of power and people who are in the leadership positions.

However, for all who are in leadership positions and holding formidable positions in our society, it is particularly vital to find out how power will be managed. If it is not managed efficiently, it will create power struggles and conflicts. If managed well, power can be used to influence others at different levels of the organization to achieve unimaginable goals, optimistic outcomes, and greater output to lead any societies in a better future.

First Published:July 17, 2020, 1:49 p.m.

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