LeadU presents Power



“With great power, comes great responsibility.”  – Spiderman’s Uncle Ben

Definition of Power from www.m-w.com (Merriam-Webster)

1a (1): ability to act or produce an effect (2): ability to get extra-base hits (3): capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect b: legal or official authority, capacity, or right

2a: possession of control, authority, or influence over others b: one having such power; specifically: a sovereign state c: a controlling group : establishment — often used in the phrase the powers that be diarchic: a force of armed men chiefly dialect: a large number or quantity

3a: physical might b: mental or moral efficacy c: political control or influence

4 plural: an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy

5a: the number of times as indicated by an exponent that a number occurs as a factor in a product <5 to the third power is 125>; also: the product itself <8 is a power of 2> b: cardinal number 2

6a: a source or means of supplying energy; especially: electricity b: motive power c: the time rate at which work is done or energy emitted or transferred

7: magnification 2b

8: 1scope 3

9: the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis in a statistical test when a particular alternative hypothesis happens to be true

The reason I listed all the definitions is to model how large a scope that power actually has, and to help you understand (if you have been reading along with the TPOVs), that power can be sophisticated in many different ways, over a large continuum of conditions and it’s really important not to discount power as being primitive, or nonsocial!

Power serves a lot of meaning in FLOW.

Therefore, I do believe it is important that we discuss power across the continuum of meaning and not just try to shove it full of different meanings but to nuance it enough to provide for descriptors we need in order to use power well to design and create FLOW.

Power is a value.  It is also a motive system, which is where the real power is, in the indirect use of power, to allow for, to enable, to be, do, have and become power…ful.

In its raw form, you can refer to it as force.  In a more sophisticated form, as in horsepower, we look at it as the ability to do work.  Even more sophisticated we can see that power, is often associated with accountability, authority and responsibility, each having a special contribution to creating purpose and FLOW in any given set of circumstances.

Power used by and of itself, is very weak, because the efficacy of power only lasts a short period of time in most cases.  The mere use of power actually diminishes its affect and creates a set of diminishing returns every time it is used.

Power conferred or revered by others lasts almost indefinitely and can be indirectly applied in many different circumstances with a lot of efficacy, or even EES.

Power, like Avoidance, Achievement, and Affiliation represents an interdependent system of memes, or cultural instructions, which can be measured in terms of the density present, or the intensity of behaviors that emerge from each of the systems.

It is key to be able to interlink them into even more powerful, avoidant, achieving, and affiliative systems.  When they are hybridized, almost anything is possible.

Helpful Hint: Power is almost never discussed directly, yet it is present in everything and in every situation.  The key to power is not to discount it because it is not aligned, but to identify ways to reshape it into design and create with power, those wholistic circumstances which benefit from power and the fit to power.

Action Step: An interesting way to look at power is to identify what power you think or feel you have and then note how much or little you use it, in everything from personalizing power, to referring power, or to discounting power and it’s EES. 

As in all things in FLOW, we can do a simple test.  We can summarize the power in our inbornness naturally.  We can look to the success requirements for power, and then we can identify the difference.  From there, we can look at how we want to play with power, the scaffolding for power, and how to design power into and out of our natural ways of relating to the world, so that the fitness of power is aligned well.  MOST people don’t understand how to use power and therefore find it being used on them.

If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or need some additional help, please use the form below to submit them.  Someone will get back to you within 48 hours.  Or if you prefer, at the bottom of this page leave your comment and someone will get back to you.

    We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

    You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

    Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

    Mike R. Jay
    Leadership University

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