Personal power – What or where is it?

How goofy or remarkable is it for me to post in my blog a book review on Amazon? It’s a pretty good review. It happens to be written by an author of business and management books. His name is Dan Blokowiak. Here is his review. I originally decided to learn more about this book through Bahram Akradi who discusses the same book by Janet O Hadberg titled Real Power: Stages of Personal Power in Organizations. Bahram is the founder of Lifetime Fitness. Lifetime is a revolutionary gym.

The word power is a funny thing. It’s such a common and over-used term that the meaning becomes diluted. Just the shear number of electronic devices alone.

I thought I could find a good synonym to use and the word “control” came to my mind. Talk about missing the mark. I think you have true power when you give up control and have the will to act. It’s interesting how control has been my comfort blanket all these years.

Anyway, I can’t wait to read the book, but here is what Dan put so eloquently:

The six stages are:
1. Powerlessness (feeling that you have little to no power)

2. Power by Association (a sense of power derived from others who have power, or from learning)

3. Power by Achievement (power that originates from having accomplished feats or acquired the culturally accepted signs of achievement; the stage within which most professionals and managers and their employing organizations function)

4. Power by Reflection (the power of thoughtful competence and integrity, marked by a search for and transition to deeper meaning)

5. Power by Purpose (the power that transcends ego, intellect, and will — difficult hurdles that Hagberg collectively labels “The Wall” — to serve a larger cause by empowering others)

6. Power by Wisdom (the power that flows to one who is exceptionally capable and mature and, paradoxically, neither seeks nor desires power)

According to Hagberg, individuals operating mainly in the first three stages perceive that their power comes from outside themselves, while those in Stages 4 thru 6 view their power as emanating from within themselves.

What I really like about these stages is that they are concise and hierarchically ordered and the clarity it brought me. My first reaction is I’m here, Tonia’s here, this buddy is here, mom’s here.

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One Comment

  1. Kosta
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Ok, here's my comment. I don't think that people fit neatly into these categories. I think we jump from one to the other depending on what's going on at any particular time. I spend a lot of time in 3, but there are times when I'm at 1. I may even take a vacation into 4-6 once in a while. There are definitely times when I feel powerless. I'm sure most everyone feels like this from time to time.

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