Power is a bit like water, the more you try to gather it, the tighter you try to hold onto it, the more it slips through your fingers.
The funny thing about power, it’s a fleeting thing. Which is maybe the reason why…
Some people are enamored by it, constantly wanting it, always after it, engaged in an endless search for more ways to gather and control it.
It is an intoxicating enchanter. Mesmerizing in its lure. Addictive in its offerings. Bottomless in its craving.
Unfortunately, it is also an unwieldy and wild beast that can never be tamed.
What most leaders fail to understand is that power can neither be owned nor controlled rather, it is given and bestowed as an act of trust. As a source to serving others. To determine otherwise sends us on a fool’s errand.
The idea of power is an antiquated proposition in our current times. The entire idea of power, what it is, our understanding of it, even our idea of controlling it, has morphed and changed.
Power is no longer in what we have but, in what we give away. True, authentic power resides in our ability to raise others up, to build up those around us.
Power is found in connection. Less in what we control and more in what we infuse.
Many modern day leaders are so focused on gaining power, on appearing strong, that they are blinded to the influence that they have lost. We gain in what we give, in what we add, in what we pour out and into others.
Real power is found in service, selfless commitment to others.
Leaders should serve as a conduit, constantly charging up those they lead. Infusing them with new learning, new knowledge, creating a constant state of challenge and support.
It is not about pulling inward but, pushing outward. We don’t blossom when we pull in, inward is a negative flow. Outward is the positive flow.
Leaders who focus on power and control, who put great worth into organizational charts, titles and rank, often have a shallow understanding of power, of real influence and what it requires.
For that reason, we continue to cling fervently to an upside-down idea of power.
And, until we gain a truer understanding of where real power resides.
It will continue to be like water, ever slipping through our hands as we ineffectually try to grasp and hold onto it.
Trust, serving others, raising up others, building (up), connecting, service, commitment….let’s throw the term power in the trash as it has no place in education. Instead lets focus on all of the great things you mentioned in this blog post listed above. Making a true difference and changing lives is the most powerful role we can play in education.