It’s funny, but nobody used the term «power vacuum» seriously. Why — well, I do not know. Maybe because people did not come across this term or its manifestations.
What is a «power vacuum»? It’s simple and difficult at the same time.
- If you think that for power in the company / division / department people are gnawing to death — that’s right, that’s wildly wrong. People bite for the post and the opportunity to indicate that they had this power.
- Power is first and foremost an opportunity to do what in other circumstances will require consensus.
- In principle, you can synonymize the words «power» and «grip», although there are different scenarios, and normal leaders do not need to prove their power principles through the so-called «power». Positional power.
In short, there is a company where the manager either does not want, or can not assume the full range of responsibilities. I recall that responsibility in normal companies goes hand in hand with the ability to make decisions (authority). And then start the gloomy chimeras of management. The work should still be done, and there are a couple of options (usually the truth is in the middle, but therefore companies do not throw out burned managers):
- The manager delegates tasks to the cunning (he wanted to write «clever», but changed his mind) to employees and was too lazy to check the performance;
- The manager does not delegate anything to anyone, but asks about the result from everyone who can reach out because of his powers (real or imaginary)
What is really happening: in any more or less sane company there is a core of people who love the company, plus the business that they do, plus respect for employees, etc. Well, that is, the core that is hard to break, but also that is very inert in terms of conflicts (instead of leaving the company in case of wild conflict people prefer to accept discomfort). But it is this core that fills the power vacuum.
Power is not a scoring of the slogan «our goal is communism», and then get into the bushes, and let someone implement it. This is primarily the responsibility before … well, at least those who are lucky to be in harness with the manager. It is more difficult when the manager could not put the right task and climbed under the table instead of being the leader.
Well, I again rolled into the topic of leadership that I hated. Why? Because there are several types of leaders, and I belong to the category of «quiet leaders», i.e. People with a point of view, ability and ability to influence people, but who do not care for publicity. Sorry, I was distracted, but the phrase about the table was correct, for I know the stories of broken executives sitting for hours under the desk. It sounds idiotic if you do not know that it happens.
Finally about the power vacuum. Yes, everything is simple: the head must decide, but refuses or avoids. A solution is necessary for the company. What’s happening? Employees make decisions and begin to build a chain of events.
And here it is very interesting. The longer the leader refuses to take decisions and take responsibility for them, the more his authority is blurred by the staff. And after a while there is a situation where the leader loses touch with the evolved company and is forced either to begin to understand what is happening through pain, or to admit that it’s time to move on.
People who do not care about the company will never be allowed a power crisis, because they need to grow indicators. On the other hand, these same people can stop plugging holes and the vacuum will swallow the whole company.