We are living in extraordinary times- Perilous, Tumultuous, Turbulent, and VUCA times. Old paradigms are crumbling as new empowering ideas are being birthed. Current shifts are enough to make your head spin when you really stop and think about it. From Climate Change to Politics: #MeToo, #TimesUp, #BlackLivesMatter; Millenials are impacting the workplace and the world. It seems like the Status Quo just isn’t anymore.
That’s a good thing. Even if it feels scary or unsettling, all of the changes in motion are occurring for the betterment of humanity. The rise of Nationalism and Naziism will eventually lead to better humanity. Those beliefs need to be pulled into the light so they can be healed. If we want to live in a more inclusive world, we must include everyone. I believe we have, a moral imperative to “walk each other home” , as Ram Dass once said.
Traditional Power Play vs. Empowerment in Organizations
What does this mean for the people who wield the most power now? Traditionally straight, cis White Men has held the most power. The power White Men hold is an externally referenced kind of power which is “power over”. Externally referenced Power relies on brute strength, domination, and fear. People wielding that kind of power are right to be afraid. It could be taken from them. Someone stronger or more dominant can come along and grab it.
The traditional type of Power has a problem. Externally referenced power is a facade. Having a position of power will only shine a spotlight on the kind of person you already are. If you’re a bully, you’ll get to be a bigger bully. You’re a good person, you’ll be able to make a positive difference for more people. If you’re greedy, you’ll get to grab more loot. You get the picture.
Internally Referenced Power
An Internally Referenced Power has the capacity to heal all of what’s wrong in the world. It’s called Empowerment. I think of it as Sovereignty- I am strong and Powerful in my inner knowing of who I am and the value I bring to the world. When I’m centered in that, I can see the power in you, too. I can see who you are and the value you bring to the world.
That kind of power isn’t like pie. Me having full sovereignty doesn’t mean you only get crumbs. We all can be fully empowered without taking anything away from each other. It’s not even about making a bigger pie. It is about realizing there’s a never-ending supply of pies.
That kind of power brings out the very best in the people who wield it. It minimizes their flaws and magnifies their positive traits. That kind of power makes the world a better place. We need more of that kind of power now. Empowerment. Sovereignty. Yes, please!
Does your Organization have Empowerment Leadership? Take our quiz to find out!