Richard Foster has some great insights on dealing with the power struggles within an organization. One of the first steps in dealing with power struggles is to first understand what destructive power is all about. Here are just a few of Foster’s thoughts in his book Money, Sex and Power.
“Power can destroy or create. The power that destroys the man’s ascendancy; it demands total control. It destroys relationship; it destroys trust; it destroys dialogue; it destroysintegrity. And this is true whether we looked through the macrocosm of human history or the microcosm of our own personal histories.
What does the power that destroys look like? Think of Adam and Eve in the garden––given every pleasure, every delight, everything necessary for a good life. Yet they wanted more; they grasped and grabbed in a headlong rush to be like God, to know good and evil. The sin of the garden was the sin of power. They wanted to be more, to have more, to know more than is right. Not content to be creatures they wanted to be gods.
The spirit festers with us, doesn’t it? For us, it is never enough to enjoy good work. No, we must obtain supremacy; we must possess; we must hoard; we must conquer. The sin of power is the yearning to be more than we are created to be. We wanted to be gods………………………………For Adam and Eve, the will to power meant a rupture in their relationship with God. The experience of communion and dialogue with God was broken. They hid from him. We, too, hide from God. The will to power ruptures our relationships with him. Our headstrong determination to do it our way makes God’s voice distant and his word hard to hear.” (Money, Sex and Power by Richard Foster, pages 175-176)
Richard J. Foster, Money, Sex and Power