We all have this internal power inside of us. It’s not commonly talked about, and many of us walk through life without really knowing what it means or how to act on it. I remember when I was young, I dealt a lot with racism and addiction within my family. But deep down, I knew that I held this power inside of me to overcome that as best and positively as I could. I held the power to make better choices to not lead myself down those paths or participate in those words or actions. I also had a choice to treat people with more concern and kindness. So recently, when LinkedIn reached out to me to build a course around the concept of leading with positive power and what it means to fully encapsulate it, I jumped at the chance. I want people to know that they fully control that inner voice inside of them, that ‘angel on their shoulder’ that’s pushing them towards making good decisions and how to use this power to communicate more effectively and leave people feeling uplifted.
Positive Power vs. Acquired Authority
As many of you know, I am a woman of faith and I accredit this gift to God. But regardless of where you hold your beliefs, we all hold the capability to lead with this power in a positive way. Most importantly, learning to understand the difference between the power we have by the virtue of a title that we hold (acquired authority) versus the power that we have in the choices that we make and how we interact with those we lead (positive power). Now, I live in the real world, and having a title does impart more responsibility to achieve results, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t lean into our power to do that with concern and kindness towards others. Through this course, I’ll be laying out the differences in increasing your intentionality while really listening and leaning into your people. It all goes back to servant leadership, and you must develop the confidence in yourself to optimize your power internally.
When we think of leadership in the workplace, we think of those with a manager, supervisor, or executive title. Acquired authority that comes with those titles allows you to do things like hire and terminate, give pay raises, delegate, and improve or change processes. Positive power is how you’re leaving people feeling in your presence. Do you leave them feeling heard, uplifted, and valued? Do you recognize and appreciate the work that they do? Your people like to know that their work is meaningful and that everything points to a bigger mission that drives the organization forward.
Remember how I mentioned having that ‘angel on your shoulder.’ That means you’ll battle the devil on the other side, too. When we listen deeply to ourselves, we can lean more into this positive power. If you allow yourself to cave in and listen only to the negativity, you’ll eliminate all of your opportunities for success. By allowing other people in your external environment - such as other leaders or managers, people whom you feel you are “competing” with - to affect you or sway your decision-making, then it all goes back to being about that acquired authority. But in reality, the only person you’re competing with is yourself and the ability to listen to what comes from within. When you consider the whole person and create a culture that is a safe space by making the best choices and ensuring that your people are heard; you uplift them. You become an important factor in leading them along their journey.
You hold the power to not only change your life, but the lives of those around you. It’s not about the title you hold or your awards on the wall or your degrees. It’s about the way you listen to your internal voice. Do you choose to make good choices, or do you choose to give that power away? Positive power is truly the power of choice. You have the option to provide yourself with the ability to listen from within and make a positive impact on everyone around you. You also hold the power to do the opposite. My goal for this course is to help you learn in a short amount of time exactly how to lead with intention. The only person who can activate your power is you!