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A transactional approach to power


Transactional has become something of a dirty word in the business world. It suggests a short-term, one-off mindset and a commoditized approach to value. Nobody wants transactional relationships with employees, suppliers, or customers. But when it comes to exercising power, understanding power as a transaction may be a leader’s best bet.

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That’s because power is something leaders are commonly thought to possess, either by force of personality or by dint of positional authority. The mistaken idea that you are inherently powerful can be extraordinarily seductive—and comes with a variety of leadership pitfalls. Hubris (an exaggerated sense of self-confidence) is one of them. …

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