Moral Leadership Chapters
Ultimately, the major message of this chapter is that power needs to be tamed. Unrestricted power is dangerous because it opens up the potential for corruption and abuse. Thus, power, at any level, must have some restrictions in order to tame it so that it reaches a balance that provides positive progressions in the work environment and elsewhere. Winters brings in a historical perspective to show what can happen when power is unchecked, as well as to show the importance for finding a balance of power so that one’s leadership leaves a positive message with future generations. Using a historical perspective and consciousness, leaders can restrain power because they have an idea of what has worked and not worked in the past. It is crucial to find a tame balance of power so that it inspires and controls but does not abuse.
There are a number of keywords here. Power is a major keyword of this chapter. It is the authority that leaders hold over their inferiors and the environments in which they lead. According to Winter, power must be balanced and not be unrestricted, as this will cause corruption and abuse (159). Tame is the word Winter uses to suggest the checking of power so that it does not go unchecked. It helps power find a balance so that it is effective but not abusive. Historical perspective is another that means the wider perspective that history allows leaders to use to understand their own use of power in their unique circumstances (160). Historical consciousness is “the capacity to view one’s current actins from a historical perspective,” so that the leader can be more conscious of his or her actions (160). Generativity is another key word. Here, Winter means that using one’s own understanding of our mortality combined with our moral compass to help balance the power a leader holds.
“Power has a dual nature. When tamed, it can give inspiration, arouse hope, mobilize energy, and coordinate the collective action essential to organized social life” (159)
“Yet untamed power can bring oppression, .aggression, and ultimately despair — to both power-holders and their targets” (159).
“Historical consciousness has successfully restrained power in the nonfiction world” (162).
“Generativity, then, involves responding to one’s own mortality by a commitment to the welfare of generations to come; perhaps in a larger sense, to the welfare and continuation of creation itself,” (164).
I agree with the main message of Winter’s work here in this chapter. Unrestricted power almost always leads to abuse. Looking at totalitarian governments throughout the ages almost…