Strength vs Power - Which do you crave?
Updated: Feb 12
February 2, 2023
This is a topic I've been thinking about for a long time. The concept and question have become incredibly relevant these past couple weeks. Let's go for a walk...
One of the things I have been more careful with the past few years is people watching. Observing behavior and trying to better understand it and it's root causes. I use these observations to help me become a better human. That's the goal anyway.
Watching how people treat others is an amazing learning tool when applied properly. The two types of people I have really focused in on are the strong, and the powerful. There is a vast difference between the two.
Strength is something one builds with. It is a producer. Strength creates more strength. Strength is born of strength.
Power is something the weak crave. It is a consumer. Power feeds on weakness to survive. Power is born in a vacuum of strength.
Strong people educate and boost those around them.
Powerful people manipulate and coerce those around them.
Strong people welcome differing points of view as a portal for enrichment and learning.
Powerful people shun differing points of view as a detraction and a threat.
Strong people use losing as an opportunity to learn. They look to other strong people for advice on how to get better. They ask for input.
Powerful people use losing as an opportunity to blame. They look down on those they see as "beneath" them and assign fault. They tell people what THEY did wrong.
Strong people are builders. They automatically attract others. They are the true leaders, not because they ask for it, but because they build it.
Powerful people are dividers. They force a following by handing out rewards to their minions. They are the bosses that people loathe.
Strong people are believers in servant leadership. They care about and value the people around them. The people around them easily sense it.
Powerful people are believers in leadership via domination. They see others as a means to an end. The people around them easily sense it.
It's possible that people in a position of leverage or power, see people of strength as weak. It's foreign to them to be encumbered by the impact they have on anyone other than self. They know the strong have to consider their actions and how they will affect others around them.
The strong will take a step back to assess the situation. They will look at what's best for all involved, not just themselves, then act. They aren't willing to sacrifice those in their charge for personal gain or petty revenge. That is true strength.
If a person has to use manipulation, threats and deceit to maintain their position of power, are they truly powerful? I think we all know that answer.
These are some observations I've made in my years on this planet. The examples aren't just from the business world, they are from all walks of life.
The question is: What do we do with these observations?
We continue to lift others up. We continue to learn from those around us and show heartfelt appreciation. We stand in between those in power and those still finding their strength. We continue to share our experience, strength and hope with everyone we can IF it will help them.
We continue to do the next right thing. It's the only way.