Thursday, February 19, 2004

Power over people can be a wonderful thing. Be that power over a few or power over a nation. Down through the years I’ve worked for a number voluntary organisations.

Five years ago I sat on the committee of a charity in Dublin and saw people I know and respect go to great lengths to obtain power. Indeed I was at the receiving end of their power lust. Some of these people I call friends and indeed we still are friends. In the process a team, which worked together, very quickly fell apart with bitter recrimination. They pass each other on the street without talking. Now that charity is no more, but the fallout continues. I never again look at charities through rose coloured glasses.

Two years later I found myself working abroad and unwittingly in a position of power. Again working for a charity but this time joint assistant director (for want of a better term). The idea of control turned my stomach. Lucky for me the other joint assistant was of the same opinion and very reluctant to accept the mantle of power. So we made a pact. The result everyone knew where they stood and the group achieved each and every one of its aims.

Time passes and since September 2002 I’ve worked for another group in Dublin. I’ve made good friends with people and we worked together as an excellent well co-ordinated team. I’ve recently been offered and accepted a minor position with some responsibility but not particularity important. I intend to carry out my job to the best of my abilities. I get on very well with the people that run the group, if I wanted a position of power could be mine, but that is of no interest to me now.

Recent months have seen someone of good intelligence and good capabilities join the group. This individual doesn’t like me because I socialise with the people at the top. You know the feeling you get deep inside. You meet someone for the first time and straight away you realise that this individual doesn’t like you.

Now I’ve stood back and watched from afar how this person operates. I’ve witnessed them ingratiate with the top table with a haste I found dizzying. I don’t want power and I’m not going to engage in a power struggle during my spare time. Been there, done that etc. But what’s the solution? To walk away? To stay and battle it out? Am I crying wolf? I’m not too sure.

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