Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
I have to say that I agree with this statement and in the main its borne out by experience and not just thinking, I've seen how a little power, or perceived power and authority (in the sense of knowledge but also decision making power) can really go to peoples heads, so I'd not like to see them with a lot.
Its got me thinking though, is it possible to exercise power and avoid this? Or will you inevitably fall into the trap I've described? When people quote this are they meaning "other people are corrupted by power" first and foremost and not considering themselves?
I've been thinking about the problem of authority figures who do not want to exercise authority lately or the equation of authority with authoritarianism, which cuts across this discussion.