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Personal Power

To understand what personal power is about we need to look at two areas, power and control. Both of these areas have been badly used by many people, using them to abuse and enslave others.

So now most people will object to someone saying that they want more power or control. To succeed at anything you need both of them, but to achieve the true meaning of success power and control must be used correctly. Become a success not a dictator.


Power and Control

Let us take a look at each of these and see how they relate to personal power.  People know the basic definitions of power and control but seldom break them down to understand how they work.

Power has to do with motion, speed and volume. Increasing any of these will increase power. To illustrate I will use water. A drop of water in your hand has no motion, speed or great volume, it will not do much. If you get hit by a rain drop you will probably feel it but no damage will occur. Stand in front of a fire hose and it will knock you down, more speed and volume. Increase the volume even more, a tsunami (tidal wave) will destroy everything in its path. Even those simple rain drops create problems for supersonic jets and rockets.

Control is the directing or containing of power or potential power. For example when you are driving a car you use the steering wheel to direct the power of the car in a certain direction. The gas pedal and brakes will confine or release the power. To control something you need a firm base, it would be virtually impossible to control a vehicle if you did not have a seat or at least a solid platform.


Power in Action

How does this fit with people and personal power? All people are a power source, or potential power source. If one person says this is the way things should be but does not do anything about it then nothing will change. Now suppose he takes a placard and parades up and down the street (motion), he will get attention but still nothing is likely to happen. If more people start to agree with him and start marching (Higher volume and motion) then at least the news media will take notice. What happens if the majority of the population likes his idea? Then a change will occur. Now if his idea is stupid then he will not get the support, he did not have a firm base, a solid platform.

Uncontrolled power is usually destructive, explosions, tidal waves, tornadoes. Uncontrolled people are also usually destructive. Most people are controlled by their own ethics and principles, some are controlled by a fear of punishment and the few who do not control themselves are likely to be contained by the law (imprisonment).

Those are the basics of control and power. How do you obtain personal power? Is it possible to have the power and control of other people. Yes, not only is it possible but absolutely necessary to achieve success. As I mentioned before it must be done correctly.

All power has the potential of being explosive and dangerous if not handled properly. Take good note of that previous sentence. A good marriage is a powerful thing, with the support of one or more people you can overcome a lot of life's problems.  An abused or poorly handled marriage will explode in divorce and recriminations.


Power Flows

Power has to flow in two directions, input and output. When a battery is drained it has to be recharged before it becomes useful again. The same is equally true with people.

I will give you a comparison of two companies that I worked for. One was more like a sweat shop. The workers had to stay at their machines and reach set quotas every hour. Supervisors were constantly checking to make sure the work was done. It was heavy control and threat of dismissal if a person went to the washroom one too many times. There was no help or training of any sort. I lasted there for one day, that was seven hours too many.

What did they end up with? Any good worker quit almost instantly. The remaining ones were almost robotic. I found out that the accident rate was very high and somehow the equipment was always breaking down or getting damaged. A year later I noticed they were no longer in business. Their workers had no power fed back to them.

The other company was a hotel. It was managed by a lady in her early 30s. The owners never interfered with her running of the hotel, they would make suggestions but left the final decisions to her. Even with major changes she was consulted first. She passed this down to the employees below her. The desk manager had full control of the front desk, the maitre de controlled the dining room and so on down the line. Each person was allowed to run their own area, if something went wrong then the next person up would help them handle it.

We were all given the power and trust to do our work properly, we wholeheartedly gave our power back to the hotel. Look at how easy this made life for everybody. Was it successful? The owners went on to build largest shopping mall, hotel, amusement park of its time. This is good leadership.

To sum up how you achieve personal power, help the people around you achieve their personal power. The more power you give them the more they can give you. Also give them the trust to have power and control over you, power that is continually flowing back and forth grows more powerful. Controlled power has direction and force, to help you accomplish these within yourself you should also read How to Set Goals and Unlock the Passion.

One note here, there are some people who will abuse your trust, fortunately they are usually few. So just as the hotel mentioned above had to choose its employees carefully, you should choose the people you want around you.

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