Power, now that is a word that will bring about different mental models for different people!Many times messages of power are wrapped in fear, hope, darkness, and light. Power is both greatly misunderstood and misused. Empowerment, too, is a concept that conjures up different impressions for different people. And there is an explosion when there is no empowerment!Power can be silent and strong, wrapped in love of self, source, and others. Power can be grace-filled and strong; and power can be assertive and strong. Power comes in many disguises, including giving away power—also known as empowerment.Empowerment has almost become a generic term or a cliché buzzword. However, empowerment is one of the most effective tools of power any leader can use.At a recent seminar where I presented the three pillars of Love-Based Leadership, I discussed empowerment and the varied perceptions of power. As a leader, power is one of the aspects we expect in leadership. Unfortunately, for many of us, the image of power is one of aggression, dominance, and fear. This type of power can in fact motivate people, but it is not sustaining. This type of power grows resentment in the eyes and hearts of followers.One of my favorite quotes from Lao Tzu describes the practice of empowerment:As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear, and the next, the people hate. When the best leader's work is done, the people say, “We did it ourselves!"Empowerment for us simply means to stand in power—including our own power, our own empowerment.I expand more on the “how to” steps here:In summary, stepping into your power requires the following:
- Identify any barriers that may hold you back, especially any negative self-talk or negative voices.
- Find your voice.
- Give yourself permission.
- Find a coach or accountability partner to work with.
I would love to hear from you.What is one immediate step you can take right now to self-empower?With love,Maria