The True Meaning Of Power
Innovation expert Kaihan Krippendorff kicks off a discussion about power saying:
“Power is a tool that carries no innate moral value. What matters is the reason behind using that tool.”
“Power becomes destructive when we seek it out for its own sake; when we view power not as a tool but as an end in itself, when we seek power just for power’s sake.”
“The opposite, of course is dedicating power to causes that improve the world: Mohandas Gandhi convinced Great Britain to leave India, Nelson Mandela used power to end apartheid, and Martin Luther King Jr. was powerful enough to “change the rules” and end segregation. Therefore, power is freedom. The more power you have and the more skillfully you use it, the greater impact you can have.”
Krippendorff concludes with three exercises that can help you address and change any negative associations you may make with the term “power.”
1. I associate the word “power” with the following (list any words, emotions, or opinions that come to mind):
2. Create a noble cause (if you had greater power, what positive impact would you want to have?):
3. New associations (what alternative, positive, associations can power have?):
Here are some other places that Fast Company talks about power:
- Are You A Power Poisoned Boss?
- Don’t Be A Power Hog
- Why Sharing Power At Work Is The Very Best Way To Build It
[Image: Flickr user Mohammad Haleeque][post by m.cecelia bittner]
Powerful words of reflection!