An (optimized) caricature of Burke
Read some Burke on Facebook (via Naz). Which is a rarity, LOL. “All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.” Politics. Which I understand as politics. Looked up ‘politics’ on Wikipedia (the Wiki being the mental equivalent of looking at the sky). For grounding you. Work is all about politics, so I feel like I’m knee deep in it. So what it is?
Wiki says “Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions.” It’s five types of power. Which one are you?
Legitimate power, the power of the policeman or the referee, is the power given to an individual by a recognized authority to enforce standards of behavior. Legitimate power is similar to coercive power in that unacceptable behavior is punished by fine or penalty.
At work Legitimate power is given to you by rank and proximity to power (CEO and down). 6 Degrees Of Blackberry. Oh, and Performance Reviews, which effect your bonuses. And Managers get first dibs on the holiday bungalows.
Referent power is bestowed upon individuals by virtue of accomplishment or attitude. Fulfillment of the desire to feel similar to a celebrity or a hero is the reward for obedience. This is an example of incentive power as one rewards oneself.
Referent power, hmmm, just read it and don’t quite understand. Seems like how much you feel like a Rap Star. I feel 25% like a Rap Star.
Expert power springs from education or experience. Following the lead of an expert is often rewarded with success. Note that expert power is conditional to circumstances (for example, if leaky pipes need to be repaired, a brain surgeon’s advice probably would not carry as much weight as a plumber’s).
Expert. I’m pretty good at some stuff, with computers. However, to move up-up in a Company is basically an exam. You get an MBA, you get a better job. At the high end it teaches you leadership, at the low its a rubber stamp.
But that’s just three. The primary colors of power are reward and punishment. They mix to form Legitimate, Referent and Expert power. Reward and punishment are basically operant conditioning. That’s basically associative learning and, in its mathematically pure form, neural networks. And neural networks are something you can build in the lab.
It’s interesting. Someday you could theoretically computerize politics. Through Facebook.