What Is True Power and Who Has It?
When one usually thinks of having power, names such as Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson or the President of the United States immediately come to mind!
But what is true power?
Is it financial wealth? How about position or fame? Maybe it’s the ability to have an impact on someone’s life?
While I have always viewed wealth and fame as being fleeting in nature, I see true power as the ability to affect or have an impact on someone’s life.
In this context, and starting with ourselves and our own life’s direction, we are all powerful. Let alone taking into account our ability to affect those around us.
We may not necessarily have the immediate breadth of impact of a Branson or the President relative to the actual number of people our decisions affect but, to those with whom we come in contact on a regular basis we are no less significant. Think about the power you have with children, friends or colleagues seeking out your advice or needing a shoulder to lean on? What about the strangers to whom you reach out with a helping hand? Power is not about controlling others but is all about the impact you have when you use your power to make a difference.
In this regard, I am reminded of the Liberty Mutual “a helping hand is contagious” commercials (see video below).
So who beside yourself do your actions affect? It is an interesting question on many levels especially from the standpoint of your personal brand. Or to put it another way, if your brand is the sum of every experience others have had with you, what would people say? Would you be seen as considerate and helpful? Can you be relied upon when the chips are down?
The fact is that no matter how much effort someone expends to build the image they want to portray, if they fall short in their practical day-to-day interactions with others it is this disconnect that will ultimately stand out.
So tell me do your actions align with your brand? If they don’t, you and you alone have the power to change! And at the end of the day this is all the power that you really need.