Posted: September 17th, 2022

Moral Compass Essay

Leadership is an exercise of power.
Sometimes people are uncomfortable thinking or talking about power. Modesty, humility,
and fear are some of the reasons people have for failing to take responsibility for their own power; if
you want to lead, you must take responsibility for your own power. Given the abundance of your
resources, capabilities, and opportunities, it is very unlikely that you lack the power for some form of
leadership. You might want to consider first, however, what power actually is and what it means to
be powerful. For example, power is exercised in knowing, imagining, seeing, problem-solving,
helping, and motivating as well as in the more conventional modes of specialized expertise,
charismatic personality, or attractiveness. Power is not limited to positions or structures of authority;
the impetus for critical reinvention and change can be located anywhere on the organizational chart.
Good leaders can lead from any location. You also will find that power is everywhere and it flows in
many directions. Effective leaders are able to recognize the dynamics of power and leverage its
potential in creating value.
What types of power can you identify in the PharmX scenario? Where is power located
and how is it distributed? If you were John, how would you manage the power dynamics
to lead a critical reinvention effort effectively?
Think about an organization or group with which you are very familiar – perhaps your
job, family, or club. Where is the power? Who are the leaders? How do they manage
the power?

What is your role in the power dynamic you just described? How is your power being
exercised in this situation? What power do you have that is not being utilized? How do
you feel about that?

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