Strategist since ages have chosen to be the king maker and not the king. Sun Tzu , Chanakya , Aristotle have all chosen to be teachers to the powerful kings such as King Helu , Chandragupta Murya and Alexander . The point to ponder is what made the teachers powerful . These visionaries were aware of their strengths yet never choose to take the throne.
The route to gain power begins with taking early decision-making in order to push boundaries . At this point of time, the stakes are low, hence the losses would be low, incase the decision goes wrong . For eg : the best time to begin a business or invest is when the market indices are in the correction mode. Every business takes its own time to stabilise. Hence the low valuation of the market allows the entrepreneur to start with benefits of low real estates and talent cost. And bear rich profit by the time market swings back.
The next step is building the mental model which includes will and determination to succeed. Efforts are made endlessly till success is achieved. This further includes conflict tolerance. It is a skill which strengthens the individual to make decisions yet stay attuned with the environment. John Pickering explains this capability as maturity, as it enables an individual to select behaviour over the preferred one.
Personal mastery when identified helps in establishing an individual as a leader. One must identify an area of performance which stems out from a core strength. This role may have pivotal tasks to be delivered, yet haven’t been identified by everyone. For eg: an employee in an organization is offered a role which will require the employee to deliver on projects which may have escalation points with the top leadership. Ideally this may not be a very safe role. But eventually this role would gains highest degree of visibility.
During this process of positioning oneself, one needs to be in sync with the environment. For e.g. if a professional is employed in the knowledge vertical with an industry leader. It’s imperative that the individual establish himself as a knowledge leader through intellectual transaction including social media.
The quest to gain power requires the individual to maintain and protect it. The vulnerability increases as the individual grows up the continuum. Hence staying vigilant of the competition and negating factors that might have an adverse effect becomes quintessential. System thinking offers the best solution to it. Comprehending and addressing the whole issue, and examine the interrelationship between the parts provides the best incentive. The Forbes list of powerful people, including Warren buffet, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and other visionaries , shares that powerful leadership is not just about making billions but generate enormous amount of value to the society
Ultimately power is all about building a strong system which is independent of the agent.