Power Vs. Competence

Power Vs. Competence Pt. II

Conversely, we can also imagine the manager who demands that deadlines are met on time, that projects are of adequate quality, and who does so in a way that is intimidating as opposed to working cooperatively. This is an example of a manager who is not a leader, but rather a boss, and also likely one who has achieved their higher-status position through the exercise of power and domination. It is also important to really understand the temptations associated with wielding power so that we may be capable of catching ourselves if we begin to swerve down a potentially dangerous path. When we utilize power rather than competence, we are essentially sacrificing our knowledge for intimidation which certainly serves a purpose but is not sustainable for the company (hierarchy) nor the individual as this type of tyranny has a tendency to eat itself from the inside as it decays into chaos and disorder.

In distinguishing competence from power, we can understand that to employ competence we need to commit to working hard at becoming better at whatever skill,  topic of study, or necessary knowledge that is required for the particular task or endeavor at hand. This, of course, is another reason why employing strategies based off power can become tempting; when someone can wield the weapon of power, it doesn’t really matter whether they are competent or not because people will fall in line due to intimidation. As addicts especially, we ought to be very wary of shortcuts that are available to take because in essence that is exactly what we were doing in our addictions. Due to the close association that addiction has with trauma, the disease was not entirely our fault, however, the way we respond to our addictions is our responsibility. The difference with competence and power is that we have full agency over how we want to propel ourselves through the difficulties of the world. We also ought to be aware of our propensity towards taking the easy road out which can affect our decision in choosing competence over power due to the commitment and hard work it takes to make us competent compared to the easier way of manifesting power.

In conclusion, when we make this decision as we enter back into society, we have to kind in mind the question of, “would we rather work harder to be competent, or are we willing to sacrifice our integrity and try and circumvent the process of learning, discovery, and wisdom?”


Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate, and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138.

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