Saturday, September 15, 2007

Power Corrupts

Power has an intoxicating effect on a person's ego. And that's where a peculiar professional handicap comes into play.

Children learn how to beg, borrow, and steal at an early age. They also learn how to tell lies and bully other people. Once they have achieved a certain amount of success with such techniques, they take great pleasure in wielding their power over others.

When children become adults, the dysfunctional forms of behavior they learned in childhood tend to blossom in the workplace.

  • Children who were pampered and spoiled by their parents turn into adults who expect co-workers to pick up after them.

  • Children who were cruel in school frequently turn into adults who are abusive in the workplace.

  • Children who cheated on exams and paid others to write their term papers grow into adults who have little concern for professional ethics.

  • Children who learned how to manipulate others by lying, withholding affection, or throwing temper tantrums grow into adults who thrive on backstabbing office politics.

  • Children who did not learn to take responsibility for their own actions are quick to assign blame to their co-workers instead of taking responsibility for their own mistakes.

  • Many such children grow up to become doctors.

  • Many medical students come from dysfunctional families.

Despite what your parents might think, the "M.D." which appears after your name does not stand for mythical deity. If you expect people to treat you as a professional, then you are obligated to treat them as professionals.

[Consciousness Raising Exercise #32]

Next: Being Held Accountable For Your Behavior

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