The real issue behind Mary Cunningham's fall from power at Bendix Corp., says management professor Natasha Josefowitz, "is the primitive fear she and (Bendix chairman William) Agee aroused.

"A male-female duo is the most powerful leadership combination possible. The unconscious mind associates the couple with male and female parents, arousing the primitive urge to separate them. So it's no surprise that colleagues found their power bloc threatening and it toppled."

Speaking at a recent meeting of the National Council of Career Woman, Josefowitz -- author of "Paths to Power" -- urged women not to be discouraged by "the Bendix mess" and to go on striving for leadership and power.

Among her advice to powerseekers:

Establish "give and take" relationships -- Give the powerful your time and information; they can give you promotions.

Be trustworthy.

Toot your own horn modestly.

Decide how much power is enough. Consider your temperament, likes and dislikes in deciding how high is up for you.

Adopt a power stance. When standing, put feet solidly on the floor with weight evenly distributed, shoulders slightly back and head erect. When sitting, slide forward slightly and place one arm over the back of an adjacent chair so you take up room.