The criteria that were specified were completely consistent with the Care and Growth criteria. As I sat watching the group in the hands of this young master I could not help to reflect on the incredulity that I experience from senior groups when I indicate that the Care and Growth criteria that they identify for the ideal boss I first discovered among semiliterate mine employees on South African Gold Mines. This young man had again vindicated the argument.
This serves to demonstrate that the criteria that people hold universally for the ideal boss are that the boss should care for them and grow them. This universality is significant. If you work for someone because you want to you implicitly give that person the right to ask you to do things. You therefore give that person the right to exercise power over you. These Care and Growth criteria are therefore the universal criteria for legitimate power.
The first relationship of power one has with anyone else is with one’s parents, and in so far it is a first relationship it helps us to understand the essence or principle of this kind of relationship. We have an intuitive understanding that there is a relationship between the first and the principle. In the parenting relationship there are two people, a big one and a small one. The requirement of the big one is very specific; they should care for and grow the small one. Any relationship of power is therefore legitimate if the aim of that relationship is the care and growth of the subordinate.