If you take a quick inventory of all the wealthy people and CEOs who’ve made news by being complete, heartless jerks, you’re left with a pretty simple question: who put them in charge? One narrative: Ruthless people win, so it’s the jerks who float to the top. The counter-narrative: power makes us act bad. Most explanations land on some marriage of the narratives, but our next guest has a radically different approach: it’s things like kindness and compassion that make us powerful in our society – but that power makes us the opposite of kind and compassionate.
- Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at the University of California – Berkeley, and faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center. His new book is The Power Paradox: how we gain and lose influence.