EXERCISE OF POWER
NEVA MAKGETLA: There are practical ways to slow the onset of hubris
In the words of Lord Acton, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." If you’ve ever worked in a large organisation, inside government or out, you have seen leaders start out humble, open and honest, and end up abusive, arrogant and arbitrary. Often their subordinates are left thinking they must have misread these leaders from the start. But power itself changes people, and rarely for the better. The change starts with protocol, which makes it harder to tell leaders the truth. Consider the seemingly innocuous use of titles rather than names. Even long-standing acquaintances must be called minister or GS. In government, protocol requires little shrines by the entrance, with images of the current gods arrayed in a pantheon, often above offerings of flowers.