Donald Trump Jewel Samad/Getty Images

¿Queremos tener líderes poderosos?

CAMBRIDGE – En todo el mundo parece estar extendiéndose una tendencia hacia el autoritarismo. Vladímir Putin ha logrado usar el nacionalismo para reforzar su control de Rusia, y aparentemente goza de gran popularidad. A Xi Jinping, que preside cada vez más comités decisorios cruciales, se lo considera el líder más poderoso que tuvo China desde Mao Zedong. El presidente de Turquía, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reemplazó hace poco a su primer ministro con otro más dispuesto a colaborar con su intento de concentrar el poder ejecutivo. Y algunos comentaristas temen que si en noviembre Donald Trump gana la presidencia de los Estados Unidos, podría convertirse en un “Mussolini estadounidense”.

El abuso de poder es tan viejo como la humanidad. La Biblia nos cuenta cómo tras vencer David a Goliat y convertirse en rey, sedujo a Betsabé y envió a propósito a su marido a una muerte segura en combate. El liderazgo implica el uso del poder, y como señala la famosa cita de Lord Acton, el poder corrompe. Pero sin poder, que es la capacidad de hacer que otros hagan lo que uno quiere, no se puede ser líder.

David C. McClelland, psicólogo de Harvard, dividió a las personas en tres categorías según sus motivaciones. Están los que quieren hacer mejor alguna cosa: tienen “necesidad de logro”. Los que quieren tener relaciones amistosas con otras personas: tienen “necesidad de afiliación”. Y los que quieren influir en otros: tienen “necesidad de poder”.

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