August 19, 2016

Personal power versus positional power

IT is natural for all human beings to have a desire to prosper—to succeed in material terms and to be financially successful. People are said to be prosperous when they have become wealthy and successful. When it comes to civil service personnel, a successful employee is one who gets promotions earlier than fellow service personnel, who is sent abroad for further studies or who is sent to international fora to represent his country. This being so, government servants are always vying with one another to achieve career advancement or to win scholarships to study abroad or to win an opportunity to be chosen as a member of a foreign delegation.
Employees of private firms, for their part, expect promotions and salary raises. They do not value foreign trips as much, partly because such chances are rare and partly because they do not earn extra money from such trips. As salary rises are positively correlated to promotions to higher ranks, company employees often harbour burning desires to climb the corporate ladder.
This being so, employees of government departments or enterprises or of private firms are always finding ways—fair or unfair, just or unjust, honest or dishonest—to get promoted to higher ranks. Since higher positions always come with better salaries and more power, service personnel rarely turn down promotions, even if they have to go to live and work in far-flung areas.
In this regard, it is worth remembering that positional power can spoil service personnel because it can lead employees to misusing the power vested in them by their positions. It is, therefore, important not to rely too much upon positional power in getting things done. It is true that managing things involves the use of positional power. However, its overuse can spoil the user. That being the case, The Global New Light of Myanmar would like to urge all service personnel, be they employees of the government or private companies, to rely chiefly upon their personal power in getting things done.


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