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Are People at the Top Natural at Power Dynamics?

From the thread When to Share Power University, Lucio mentions that

Turning the Tables: The "Natural" Competition Is Where It's At. YOU Are Underdog Catching Up

Finally, here's a different frame of looking at it:

If you want to go up, you should focus upward, not sideways.

And from what I've seen and experienced, most people at the top are naturally equipped with the basics of power intelligence and Machiavellianism (or both)

The top is more about naturals than learners.

So for many people who come here, it's a lot more about catching up before it even becomes about surpassing.

You are the real competition to the naturals 🙂

Would it be possible that these people never did any sort of deliberate practice or analysis on power dynamics throughout their careers?

And they learnt from ad-hoc observation, personal experience and the occasional analysis in their head?

It does seem to be the case.
People skills and power dynamics seem to be a field where people don't practise in an organised and deliberate manner.
As such, one can argue that the naturals really have an advantage because other people find it challenging to figure this out.

I think the CEOs with less intuition on power dynamics but better at long-term strategy and Machiavellianism hire public relations experts to help them deal with communications. For example, Mark Zuckerberg probably had a lot of help preparing for the congress drilling. But he's Machiavellian enough to kick out his business partner who didn't contribute to Facebook in the early days.

On a separate note, I'm also thinking about the people who rose to the top not because they are the best at power dynamics.
But for some other reason, like creating great products, being a linchpin, controlling finances, having access to specialised knowledge, etc.

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LorenzoE

Imagine you take the top 10% and the bottom 10% of many power or success-related indicators.

Say, income.

My guess is that the top differentiator is drive.

Then IQ.

And not to far off power intelligence / Machiavellianism.

The difference is that I'm not aware of reliable ways to work and improve on your drive.
And in many ways not having a high drive to achieve is also a good thing.

IQ maybe you can change a little, but not too much.

I think that power intelligence and Machiavellianism are some of the most malleable aspects of one's mental make-up.
At least if we're talking about the more baseline cognitive abilities.

Edit:
This is just me free-thinking.

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LorenzoE
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I see what you mean.
It's a complex topic to talk about what traits matter the most for success.
There's an element of survivorship bias.
Some say the top hedge funds did well because statistically there will be top anomalies whether they have special characteristics or not.

What we can say is that there is an umbrella of traits that will contribute towards the chances of success.
And we should focus on the traits which are most malleable.

I think that power intelligence and Machiavellianism are some of the most malleable aspects of one's mental make-up.
At least if we're talking about the more baseline cognitive abilities.

I think so too.
If one doesn't have particularly high drive and general intelligence, being exposed to the concepts of power dynamics can still go a long way.

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Lucio BuffalmanoLorenzoE
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on August 27, 2021, 2:59 pm

What we can say is that there is an umbrella of traits that will contribute towards the chances of success.
And we should focus on the traits which are most malleable.

I think that power intelligence and Machiavellianism are some of the most malleable aspects of one's mental make-up.
At least if we're talking about the more baseline cognitive abilities.

I think so too.
If one doesn't have particularly high drive and general intelligence, being exposed to the concepts of power dynamics can still go a long way.

Yes, great message.

And great description in the quote part, put my same thoughts into much better words.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

From this interview, Mark Zuckerberg seemed to have improved in power dynamics skills a lot:

Interviewer: Are leaders making content based on appeasing political leaders?

Mark: No, look, in a lot of these cases

Interviewer: But did they in that situation?

Mark: No, they didn't. And I was involved in those conversations.

Previously, he wouldn't give hard "no"s to refute leading questions.

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LorenzoE
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