The Desk

March 10, 2019

Having Power

Weight of having strength and power

Weight of having strength and power

There are many concepts of what power means as well as what it is. Simply put, power is the ability to be effective. We speak of having powerful engines and equipment. The lion is known as the King of the Jungle because of its prowess and powerfulness. Leaders are known for their insight, vision, and ability to influence others to do (or overcome) certain things that were considered difficult for the ordinary.

Power isn’t allocated to an elite and unique class. It is something that derives from a number of sources and reasons.

Actual Power

Although some believe that only men (especially White men) are power brokers, that isn’t necessarily the case. It is also a common belief that only able-bodied people are powerful and capable of being effective. Being powerful comes from a number of sources.

  • There is education that comes from learning being a good student in school and earning god grades. Some think of being a good student as having read the textbook and then checking the correct boxes on the Scantron during the examination.

    Still others believe that merely reading a lot of books, as well as newspapers and magazines, is the source of being well educated. That’s a piece of the formula.

  • Education also comes from experience. Experience comes from exposure to situations, using good practices that net good outcomes, and then repeating those practices until they become second nature (require little to no pre-thought because the positive response, that has been reinforced many times over without contradiction) becomes intuitive and natural. Few have sat at a keyboard after reading a book about typing (or not having done so) and been able to type 150 words per minute. It takes practice to become capable.
  • Being resourceful also provides certain advantages to leverage what seemed to be a disadvantage into an actual boon to effectiveness – and power. But resourcefulness stems from being not only educated about the properties of things but also being creative enough to realize the alternative uses for the traditional tools and situations.
  • Therefore, another source of power is creativity.
  • As we consider creativity, it needs to be remembered that raw elements (talents) have certain amazing properties. Unharnessed, they can be overwhelming and sometimes alarming, thereby deterring use. A certain amount of refinement can make the single raw talent (asset) become useful in many ways and attract even more bounties and alliances that previously considered. Refined use of abilities is critical to being powerful.

False Power

  • Some feel their effectiveness and power over others stems from shouting down those who question what is being done. Yes, shouting will definitely drown out other voices. It will also turn away those who could have been supporters had the additional information been supplied.
  • Then there’s use of force, sometimes coercion, in order to have power to get things done or influence action by others. Force and coercion ultimately produce impotence (ineffectiveness) of those who allow it. It also garners resentment, distrust, and negative reaction, loss of loyalty, and ultimately rejection by loss of alliance.
  • Charismatic flattery will gain admiration and attraction. Caution: false flattery, while it appeals to the ego, will soon be seen for what it is – merely words used to get something in exchange for little in return.
  • Duplicity is another form of false power. Some synonyms are “con game”, lying, sham, deceit, double-dealing, and hidden agenda, to name a few.

False power is only short lived in terms of being effective. Once the methodology is discovered, the loss of power becomes rapid and widespread. False power takes a lot of work because the audience, and potential supporters, is in constant need of being rebuilt in order to replace the attrition numbers.

The other thing about false power is the most important to remember. It’s evidence of lack of legitimate power. It’s evidence of a dangerous weakness that’s being camouflaged through the use of the above tactics, in addition to others not mentioned here. Don’t get caught showing how weak you really are.

Have Power

In sum, power flows from not a single class of people or thing. When it comes to considering a powerful person, it’s advisable to look for certain characteristics.

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Vision
  • Efficiency
  • Time Sensitiveness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Refinement
  • Professionalism
  • Moderation
  • Humility

It’s the short list. It’s also a “must have” list. Be certain what you seek is real, legitimate power and be powerful in doing so.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Having Power – By Yvonne LaRose Preparing for the Meeting – By Yvonne LaRose You’ve Got to Start Somewhere – By Margaret O’Hanlon Do Your Employees Wake Up Refreshed and Ready for the Workday? – By Krystal Eckford […]


    Pingback by March 2019 #HR Carnival! – HRJazzy — March 19, 2019 @ 5:53 AM | Reply

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