The Tension of the Throne

Once you’ve found yourself in the exalted position, then the next thing is the anxiety about losing that position. You’re at one in a position of almighty power, because you’re elevated … but also vulnerable because up there you become a focus and a target. And you’re alone. You can be very lost and alone up there so it’s a combination of power and vulnerability. That tension between power and fallibility is very fascinating territory.

Paraphrased from the words of Es Devlin in Abstract.

Once you’ve clamoured your way to the top you can feel like you need to protect that position. There’s a pressure in being number one that you can’t appreciate until you take your place on that throne.

When you’re seated on the throne you become the focus of a lot more scrutiny and judgement. The task of winning the position quickly turns to protecting your position as you remember the Kings who have been toppled and assassinated.

When ascend to your throne, what choices will you make as leader?

Do you honour your position by working to make the whole kingdom stronger? Will you empower the general population around you and surround yourself with counsel who challenge your thinking and make you smarter through their advice?

Or will you choose to maintain your seniority by being in constant battle with anyone who disagrees with you? Use your power to beat down and force back any person or group that you perceive to be a threat?

Are thrones outdated now, anyway? At the pace the world is changing – isn’t standing a better place to lead from than a fancy chair?

There’s only so far we can follow a leader who is sitting down.


H/T to Andrew Sloan for recommending Abstract: The Art of Design on Netflix.

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