Leadership Power

Power…now that is a word that will bring about different mental models for different people!

As our nation moves into one of the greatest rights we have as American’s – the privilege and right to vote, we are deluged with messages of power. These messages are wrapped in fear, hope, darkness, and light. Power is both greatly misunderstood and misused.

Empowerment, too, is a concept that conjures up different impressions for different people. At a recent seminar where we presented the three pillars of Love-Based Leadership, we discussed empowerment and the varied perceptions of power. As a leader, power is one of the aspects we expect in leadership. Unfortunately, for many of us, the image of power is one of aggression, dominance, and fear. This type of power can in fact motivate people, but it is not sustaining. This type of power grows resentment in the eyes and hearts of the followers.

Power can be silent and strong, wrapped in love of self, source, and others. Power can be grace-filled and strong; and power can be assertive and strong. Power comes in many disguises, including giving away power—also known as empowerment.

Empowerment has almost become a generic term, cliché in some circles. However, empowerment is one of the most effective tools of power any leader can use. One of my favorite quotes from Lao Tzu describes the practice of empowerment:

As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear, and the next, the people hate. When the best leader's work is done, the people say, “We did it ourselves!"

Empowerment for us simply means to stand in power—our own power. How do we stand in our power? I will discuss the steps of empowerment on Thursday. See you then.
With love,