9 reasons it feels good to be powerless

If you are powerless:

  • You don’t have to worry since nothing is your fault.
  • You can complain since you didn’t design the system.
  • You can ignore obvious issues since someone else will sort them out.
  • Your bubble will never burst since you take no risks.
  • You can say “I told you so”.
  • You can maintain the comfortable status quo.
  • You can remember when everything was so much better.
  • You’ll always be innocent.
  • You’ll be the victim in this whole thing.

The mantle of being powerless is comfortable. But you shouldn’t put it on because it makes you invisible. You risk nothing, learn nothing, achieve nothing, and don’t progress. Taking authority is the antithesis:

  • You have to think through all the contingencies since it’s on your head.
  • You didn’t design the system, but you can sure fix it.
  • It’s not your job, but you’ll resolve this issue anyway.
  • You might fail, but you’ll learn something if you do.
  • People will tell you they told you so.
  • Change will be constant – it’s survival of the most flexible.
  • Tomorrow will be better than today.
  • It’ll always be your fault. Get used to it.
  • You’ll have to turn the other cheek, a lot.

Authority is a burden. But you must seize it with both hands, and embrace it. If not, others will and you’ll be invisible.


I write about digital communications and personal performance. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter at @morganm or subscribe to this blog here.