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From the author of Power Is a Non-Zero-Sum Game

Power Is a Non-Zero-Sum Game

Many managers are uncomfortable with the idea of distributing their powers. They fear a loss of control and (in some cases) their jobs. And people who feel insecure about their jobs tend to hang on harder to what they have.

Interestingly enough, in complex systems it is often the other way around. Governments of countries with free markets are much more powerful than those with controlled markets. And the most popular social media gurus are those who spend most of their time investing in others. Similarly, a system with distributed control is better in control of itself than a system with centralized control. I don’t know about you, but I would rather be responsible (with others) for a system that works well than being responsible (by myself) for a system that fails all the time.

The power a manager has in an organization grows with the power that the others in the organization have. Power and control are non-zero-sum games. They are like wealth. If you share some of it with others, and they do something for you in return, you increase the levels on both sides.

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