Why the rules of government prevent people who want to govern from doing what they want

April 25, 2015 by Joshua
in Freedom, Leadership

The more I work with leaders and leadership, the more I distinguish between

  • The skills to lead and
  • The authority to coerce people to comply

The more I look at concentrations of authority—mainly titled positions in corporations and government—the more I see people interested in the second who aren’t interested in the first.

I used to think the main purpose of the Constitution was to describe how to run the government. I’m increasingly seeing it as a way to prevent people looking for authority from getting what they want and limiting them when they do. I learned in grade school how the framers reacted to the tyranny of the king but mainly as history. Now that I see people with authority acting on it, sometimes against the interests of people they lead, I get the point more viscerally.

Some people want to work in government to help others. A lot of people want authority and the ability to coerce people to comply.

A main reason for the Constitution is to prevent people from using the government. I don’t know how crazy that concept seems to others, though it makes sense looking back.

Read my weekly newsletter

Initiative leadership spodek

On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Leave a Reply

Sign up for my weekly newsletter