Professor Jonathan Gosling has been working in leadership development across the globe and in diverse settings for many years. In this podcast he discusses with Simon the pleasures of power. They reflect on their own relationships to power, those of leaders they have coached and the tangled collusions around domination and submission. Many leaders who seem powerful to others feel themselves to be trapped in organisational cultures that render them quite powerless in these totalising corporate systems. Power can be harnessed for the benefit of others, and can give individuals meaning and a sense of agency and identity, and it can also feed ego and be coercive. Jonathan offers the novel idea of "powering" turning power into a verb that opens up how power is used tactically in situations. The discussion ends with reflecting on how power may or may not support the good life and good society.
Jonathan Gosling is a sailor, emeritus professor and consultant to OD projects in primary health services in southern Africa. He is also lead faculty with the Forward Institute
to promote responsible leadership. He is director, Pelumbra Ltd
, and was previously Professor of Leadership at the Universities of Lancaster and Exeter. His own troubled relatedness to power and the people who wield it has drawn him into most of his career-defining predicaments - in universities, community mediation, private equity firms, electronics companies, governments, emergency response agencies and more.