of the concepts that we've learned about as we've lived our
lives get a bit warped by some people. Power is one of
those concepts--we very often consider it to be something
that it's not. Often we confuse influence with
power--the simple fact that someone has influence over me,
such as a boss or a teacher or an official does not mean
that the person has power over me, and I don't need to give
them that power.
I want to lead, my job isn't to have power over others;
rather, it's to help them to develop into the people they
were meant to be. Yes, there are goals and necessary
outcomes to consider, and sometimes good leaders need to be
somewhat tough with the people they lead (some of my
students need harder pushes than others, for example), but
as long as I keep in mind that as a leader my goal is to
empower my students and not to make myself feel better, I
can fairly safely depend on my motivation to help me to lead
effectively and compassionately.
say that my boss has power over me because he or she can
fire me or punish me. But that's simply an influence that
I give to my boss by continuing to work at the same
place. Even if my boss fires me, that's not power over
me--that's influence over one small aspect of my life.
And the person I am doesn't change one bit if I get fired;
only some of my circumstances change, and what I do with
those changes is completely up to me.
leaders of our children, we have the power to create
positive environments in which our children can thrive or
negative ones that can hurt them. As friends and
colleagues, we have the power to be supportive, encouraging
influences, or damaging, discouraging ones. Our power
lies not over the other people in our lives, but in what we
do with our lives.
your power, own it, love it, and use it wisely. That's
the best thing that you can do for the other people in your
lives, and it will be a wonderful contribution to this world