Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Nature and Sources of Power

"Power is universal and can be achieved externally or internally. We must be able to acknowledge and develop our sources of power for us to achieve lasting success and fulfillment. However, we must be responsible for our powers and use them wisely. Power can be temporary or permanent, inherent or acquired, and can either make or break."

Recently we have discussed an interesting topic about the sources of human power. It was a good discussion, and I have learned so many insightful ideas that could be a great source of wisdom through the development of human potential. As human beings, sometimes we are not fully aware that there are inherent powers within us. This kind of power is valuable and could be enhanced to achieve lasting success - we call it Inner Power.

On the contrary, human power is never permanent; hence it could be a temporary possession. For instance, Political power is always temporary if an elected official has sworn to serve for a specified term. A person may be in the highest possible rank or position, but the time will come for his power to end. However, there may be some exceptions when a leader, for instance, is too greedy for power and has been practicing dictatorial leadership for a few decades. Just like the fate of the former Libyan President is an example that no matter how long you are in a particular position or whether you are powerful enough to conquer everything, power will lose its value if it is misused.

Power of Position is good to have only if used for the common good and not for self-interest only. Are you holding a particular position? How big is your responsibility? Does it have a specific term of office? Well, some people love to be in a position of power which comes with the ability to be in control and have more significant influence. Think of the most influential people in terms of impact on the world; who come to your top list?

Recently, Forbes magazine published its annual list of the world's most influential people for 2011. Among the list comes President Obama - the US President being on the top. He has great political power and global influence, leading the world's most powerful economy. Bill Gates, Microsoft's founder and Chairman is in the 5th rank. He is now known to be the most outstanding living philanthropist who co-founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The couple donated billions of dollars to other foundations and supported the funding of global health issues. Pope Benedict - the head of the Roman Catholic Church, is in the 7th rank. The Pope has been influential regarding the morality and spirituality of their followers. Surprisingly, the founder of the most popular social network: Facebook, is the youngest on the list and comes in the top 9. Mark Zuckerberg changes the way people communicate. His ultimate goal is to make the world connected through the power of social media, which he co-founded in 2004 in a Harvard dormitory. Having more than 700 million members worldwide, Facebook has attained a certain degree of success and influence that changed global communication. Zuckerberg uses the power of media and has gained fame and prestige globally. Oprah is also one of the most respected and successful media personalities today. She has gained fortune through her media power which she also uses for doing philanthropic work; the reason why she is so magnetic and loved by her followers.

Another source of power is your lineage. Do you belong to a powerful clan? Do you carry a family name that is well known because of its societal influence? Then, you have got the power of lineage. For instance, the royal family is very well-known and adored by the people, and they possess power through the inheritance of the throne. At the same time, those in a political dynasty are so powerful that nobody can defeat them in the position.

Physical power is also one of the most important things. It is about your ability to execute your valuable ideas. If we have the energy to do great things, we will have more achievements. However, no matter how brilliant and rich a person may be, if he is not in good health, he may not be able to achieve lasting fulfillment. Take the case of Steve Jobs as an example. When Steve was living, he was among the top global and respected leaders and one of the most influential people, but his money did not save his life. He became physically weak, so he gave up his position since he could not do the expected responsibility. The lesson is that we should never take our health for granted: the source of physical power. We do not have to be weak because we have a lot of potential to achieve something in life. The saying, "health is wealth," is true and powerful.

How we deal with or communicate with people is another power source. The power of social intelligence is an advantage to those who learned and mastered the art of personal magnetism. People are charismatic and magnetic because of their personalities and ability to deal with people effectively. They have made a lot of admirers and followers and gained respect and loyalty.

Financial power is another thing that most people aspire to. Money is indeed an essential tool for survival, and it is precious. One common thing about the most influential people in their financial power. They can give away their money to those who need it. Bill Gates and his friend Warren Buffet tried to encourage their fellow billionaires to share their massive wealth with the less fortunate. They are good examples of leaders who use financial power to make a difference.

Do you have any of the sources of power mentioned? If none, then do underestimate the power of your expertise and education. Your knowledge and wisdom are so powerful that they can lead to the sources of energy mentioned earlier and can be interrelated with other authorities. For instance, Knowledge Professionals and experts in their field have gained social intelligence through constant communication with people. They got the attention of the media, who later advertised their expertise to the people. And lastly, they have achieved the power of position and have made a fortune.

Power is universal and can be achieved externally or internally. We must be able to acknowledge and develop our sources of energy for us to achieve lasting success and fulfillment. However, we must be responsible for our powers and use them wisely. Power can be temporary or permanent, inherent or acquired, and can either make or break. We must remember that we are powerful in our own way only if we know ourselves better. As the saying goes, "great power comes with great responsibility."

© 2011 Del Cusay