An explainer on the dangers of power
Henrik Ibsen, the esteemed Norwegian playwright, once said, "A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm". This sentiment reflects the necessity of shared leadership and responsibility.
Lord Acton, a 19th-century British historian, warned, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".
Both these quotations inform the P=ENTS methodology's approach to leadership.
The Dark Side of Power
The Stanford Prison Experiment, led by psychologist Philip Zimbardo, showcased how individuals in authority cling to power. Several historical figures, like Mugabe, Kim Jong Un, Erdogan, Putin and Maduro, further exemplified this by exploiting unchecked power.
Voluntary Relinquishment: The Way Forward
However, not all leaders cling to power:
The P=ENTS Approach: Embracing Self-Replication
To prevent power centralisation, P=ENTS adopts a culture of 'self-replication'. This strategy focuses on training new leaders, thus bolstering core values, inhibiting authoritarianism and encouraging continuous learning.
Through a discernment process, potential leaders are identified, ensuring smooth power transitions. Voluntary step-downs, reminiscent of the historical examples above, are advocated to identify the most dedicated members, further solidifying their revered status in the community.
Challenges and Solutions
A reluctance to make way for other community members to take leadership positions poses significant challenges, including the fear of losing authority and the absence of suitable successors.
The P=ENTS framework proactively addresses these concerns, offering guidance on nurturing leaders while emphasising collective growth and responsibility.