The purpose of power – at its highest and most noble application – is to make other people powerful.
At a material level, solar power is a great example of how this works. The panels on our home convert the sun’s rays into energy that is brought back inside in the form of electricity. We use a lot, sometimes most of what is produced on a sunny day but not all of it.
What we don’t use gets sent back into the larger system to be utilized for other purposes. We use what we need and give back what we don’t. And what we give away makes other things powerful.
At the human level, many people believe that power is to be accumulated and reserved for their own consumption, making it inaccessible and unusable by anyone else. They have not done the work to figure out how much they actually need so they operate in fear that any loss of power is a complete loss of power.
The irony of this miscalculation is that it is the reverse that is true. When power is distributed to others, through an increase in responsibilities, the opportunity to develop and practice new skills, to have greater influence, the power of the individual who helped to make that happen grows even greater skill.
The generous distribution of power converts to loyalty, commitment and engagement. Give it away and watch it grow.
This is #32 in the series, “50 Ideas Worth Fighting For.” Ready for another?