In the case study, Cathie Black evaluates the rise and fall of Tina Brown’s “Talk Magazine”, from its colorful launch in August 1999 to its sad demise in January 2002. Black uses Tina’s personality to demonstrate the various power issues that should be imitated by individuals who want to get ahead at work and in life. For example, Black demonstrates that Tina was fearless in achieving her aims and that her fearless nature made her a great editor (Black, 2008). Available literature shows that the demonstration of fearlessness and adequate understanding of all the underlying issues can become sources of position power in an organization (Michelson, n.d.).
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Another power issue identified in the case study is the ability to attract people to your side because of engaging in interesting things. It is evident that Tina was good at pulling people to her side by engaging in interesting things that made others want to become part of her (Black, 2008). A good leader, according to Michelson (n.d.), must have the capacity to develop an appropriate power base by identifying with the needs and expectations of followers in the process of accomplishing specific work goals.
Additionally, Tina employed her charm to make people to work, not mentioning that junior employees perceived her as perceptive and alluring (Black, 2008). Available literature demonstrates that charm and personal attractiveness are sources of power that enable a leader to execute his or her plans in the organization without resistance and resentment from employees (Michelson, n.d.).
According to the case study, the magazine was abruptly stopped in January 2002 due to leadership mistakes that crippled the editor’s leverage to make and implement hard decisions. Although it is argued that the magazine stopped production due the advertising recession following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the attendant destruction of the World Trade Center, Black traces the collapse to a power arrangement that ensured the editor of the magazine had minimal editorial control and hence could not make hard decisions when required to do so (Black, 2008). Consequently, it is evident that leaders need to have the control to make hard decisions to transform their positions into influence (Michelson, n.d.).
Impact of the Power Issues
The power issues discussed in this paper not only enabled Tina to lead the massive growth of the Talk Magazine during the two years it was in existence, but also facilitated the closure of the same amid fears of advertising recession and terrorism dynamics. Tina’s fearless, charming and perceptive personality demonstrates that power is something that individuals can develop no matter their position in life. However, as demonstrated in the book’s chapter and case study, individuals must first focus on the bigger picture as they develop and implement a sufficient comprehension of what they can and cannot control in their attempt to gain and consolidate powder (Black, 2008).
Lastly, the power issues discussed in this paper demonstrate how individuals can employ easily available constructs (e.g., using information and attracting people through identifying and sharing with them) to build and consolidate power. Black (2008) stresses that, to gain power, an individual only needs to strive for efficiency, exercise careful thought and analysis, and compensate for own weakness by knowing their strengths and leveraging them. As demonstrated by the closure of the Talk Magazine, people also need to know when to let go when things or issues do not go their way.
Black, C. (2008). Basic black: The essential guide for getting ahead at work (and in life). New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.
Michelson, B.J. (n.d.). Leadership and power base development: Using power effectively to manage diversity and job-related interdependence in complex organizations. Web.