With Great Power Comes Great Paradox

People wield power depending on their world views. If your view of the
world is driven by narcissism and paranoia then you’re more likely to
wield power Machiavelli-style. But if you view the world as interdependent interconnected cause and effect then you’re more likely to take Uncle Ben’s advice:
"with great power comes great responsibility." And yet, no matter how
good your intentions are, the more power you have, the more chances
of falling prey to the Darth Vader effect.

Here’s an insightful article on the Winter issue of Greater Good Magazine which explains the paradox of power in detail.

The Paradox of Power

"Guided by centuries of advice like Machiavelli’s and Greene’s, we
tend to believe that attaining power requires force, deception,
manipulation, and coercion. Indeed, we might even assume that positions
of power demand this kind of conduct—that to run smoothly, society
needs leaders who are willing and able to use power this way.

"As seductive as these notions are, they are dead wrong. Instead, a
new science of power has revealed that power is wielded most
effectively when it’s used responsibly, by people who are attuned to
and engaged with the needs and interests of others. Years of research
suggests that empathy and social intelligence are vastly more important
to acquiring and exercising power than are force, deception, or terror.

"This research debunks longstanding myths about what constitutes true
power, how people obtain it, and how they should use it. But studies
also show that once people assume positions of power, they’re likely to
act more selfishly, impulsively, and aggressively, and they have a
harder time seeing the world from other people’s points of view. This
presents us with the paradox of power: The skills most important to
obtaining power and leading effectively are the very skills that
deteriorate once we have power."
[read more]