S:0024 Distinction: Structure vs. Authority

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Structure connotes strength or support. Authority connotes power.

Given that strength is the next paradigm of power, structure is healthier than authority.

It might be said that we humans needed authority/power during a certain stage of our development as a species; that phase is pretty much over; hence the downward spiral of politics and the rise of the strengthened individual.

An example of this distinction is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The suspension part is the structure; the toll booth ($3+ now) is the authority. (FYI, the bridge has been paid off many times over, but the toll money goes to fund the district’s money losing ferry service.)

The best people in your life/company desire structure, not authority. The weaker ones need authority, but that turns you into something that ultimately costs you more than it’s worth.


Copyright 1996 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.