You’re In the Power Seat – Now What?
By John Teng
Middle age men have a lot going for them. They have more money … more prestige ... and more power. There is a lot to be gained in these middle years. There is also a lot to lose.
No mistake is small for the middle aged man. One slip up and he can ruin his career; drain his bank account; and lose his wife and family. The temptations of the past now come with more consequences. Yes, an affair in your 20’s could have caused a break-up, but a divorce would change your lifestyle.
The middle age man has a lot of power. His wife and kids trust him. People at work listen to him. Society seeks his input and help. This much trust gives him power. It also leaves him vulnerable to making big mistakes.
Men who become disillusioned with life begin to feel badly about themselves. This is a hot zone that can be dangerous since a man seeking to feel better about himself may begin to use (and abuse) his power to control others. Maybe you use your influence to entice a young woman at the office into an elicit affair; or you begin to shift a few dollars from the company’s accounts to your own. Both of these actions are wrong. Maybe even illegal. Either can result in a loss of trust and respect by those who depend on you.
Don’t let your own power trip sabotage your life. Middle aged men do this all of the time. They begin to think they won’t get caught, or if they do, that nothing really bad can happen to the, After all, their wives love them and will take them back and their bosses know how hard they have worked over the years and will overlook some small discrepancies. Not so fast! Once you break the trust you have with these people they are going to turn on you and you will be left with nothing.
Yes, wives may forgive a fling, but few can overlook a long term affair and multiple lies. Even if they do, there is going to be a price to pay for your infidelity. The same is true at work and in your societal roles within the community. Lose the trust of that important board you sit on and they will get rid of you.
Using your middle age power and influence to get what you want regardless of the consequences never ends well. Look at all of the men who have hit the news in recent years following some sort of scandal. Some were able to regroup and make amends, but most simply fade away, alone and desperate.
Before falling victim to your own scandalous actions take a moment to consider the fallout. What is the worst thing that would happen if you were caught with that young executive or if the accounting department at work suddenly realized that you were adding a few personal items onto your corporate credit card? Your actions may not seem all that bad right now, but consider the consequences. Are they worth it? If the answer is no, then get a hold of yourself right now and stop!
The thought of what would happen if anyone “found out” might be your biggest ally. Many men have avoided midlife crisis pitfalls simply by considering the result of their actions. Buying a sports car is one thing; driving recklessly and hurting someone is quite another. Remember, the impact of your actions reach far beyond yourself. Think about that the next time your impulse is to do something stupid.
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