Whether it comes from bosses, politicians, plutocrats or others, we’re used to big shots behaving badly. We’ve all seen leaders of one sort or another acting like jerks, deadbeats or Lotharios just because they can.
Paging Anthony Weiner….
The power paradox is the idea that the traits that help people gain stature tend to disappear once they get it. In Lord Acton’s famous expression, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
Recent research with respect to wealth, discussed below, further supports the general point.
Whatever else these findings may suggest, it’s pretty apparent that the dynamics of wealth, power and privilege can profoundly influence how we think and act.