Why most leaders lose power and how you can avoid it

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Have you ever seen a leader start losing control? If yes, they probably lost their power because they started reacting to events instead of influencing events which weakened their power. When you are a leader because your enemies are growing hostile and trying to take you down. You become reactive and you abandon your own plans to fight for short-term victory. The best way to be a leader is to stay calm and let others be frustrated by the traps you lay for them. Playing for long term power rather than short term victory. 

I once worked for a friend that owned a huge company in the retail business. David, my friend, was an amazing leader. He was not just the leader of his company but also the leader of the whole industry. Despite having lots of enemies due to the success of his company, he was able to maintain his power and influence over the industry. 

Being reactive in the real world…

It seemed like he would stay in power for a long time during his tenure. However, he got fatally ill and had to be replaced by one of the executives. The new guy in power was not able to handle the leadership and power that came with the job. The company that once influenced the whole industry started being reactive. Instead of being the influential force in the market, we started reacting to whatever our competitors did. We were playing defense instead of offense which damaged our ability to innovate and maintain influence. 

If our competitors launched a new service, we would simply counter that service with our own version. If they launched a new marketing campaign, we would counter it with another marketing campaign. It got to a point where they would slash their prices for a while and wait for us to do the same. Once we also lowered our prices, they would wait till we lost enough money to go bankrupt. They were able to keep going without going bankrupt because they were well funded. 

They also stole our vendors because they knew we would not be able to effectively counter their actions. When we tried to poach some of their vendors, they turned it into a scandal to show the public how desperate we were. Unfortunately, a majority of our stores went bankrupt due to deceptive sales wars and that led to the whole company going bankrupt.

Conclusion

They dangled a carrot above our heads and we pursued it like idiots. That is why it is important to be the one influencing events rather than being to one reacting to everything. It is extremely easy for your enemies to use your anger, frustration, and defense against you. Just like how our competitors turned us, poaching vendors, as a scandal and damaged our reputation.  

Authors Note

We wish our readers don’t just simply read this story but rather also reflect on the lessons mentioned. See if you can implement any of the lessons taught in your life.

Book: The 48 laws of power by Robert Greene 

Lesson(s)

  • Always be the one influencing events, not the one reacting to them. 

Have you ever seen a leader start losing control? If yes, they probably lost their power because they started reacting to events instead of influencing events which weakened their power. When you are a leader because your enemies are growing hostile and trying to take you down. You become reactive and you abandon your own plans to fight for short-term victory. The best way to be a leader is to stay calm and let others be frustrated by the traps you lay for them. Playing for long term power rather than short term victory. 

“The key to being powerful is getting our opponent to react to your movies. Learn to master your emotions and not get influenced by anger or fear. If you start reacting to your opponent you will be going to them and be defensive.” – Robert Greene, 48 Laws of Power

Notice: All of the content above is fictional. 

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