This article gives you a quick overview of power.
#1: Avoid Power Dickhead-dom
The More You Chase It, The Less You Have It
Every now and then I receive comments and questions from people who want “learn how to be powerful”, “learn how to dominate” and, of course, those who want to “walk into a room and be the most powerful person”.
How can I put this mildly… These people are idiotic kids.
Even if they’re grown up, psychologically speaking, they have a childlike mindset.
Most people with that mindset confuse power with dominance.
In life, they tend to be very low quality, isolated and socially awkward.
The few with that mindset who make it to the top -a there are quite a few- still are far from the most well-respected, high-quality people around.
And they have trouble holding onto that power (ie.: Donald Trump).
Finally, people who approach life with a thirst for power not only cramp their own quality of
If you have that mindset, you need to fix it ASAP.
Both for your own
#2. Understand Power Is Not Dominance
You can exercise power in many ways which do not include dominance.
Soft power in social relationships, for example, entails little displays of overt dominance and yet is the most common form of power in our current world.
Dominance indeed is simply a subset of power, and it’s often expressed through aggression.
I wanted to show you here an extreme example of how power and dominance are inherently different:
In this scene from Scarface, the banker is, apparently, dominated.
Yet he is the one who gets what he wants while also preserving the relationship.
#3. Understand the Drawbacks of Aggression
Scarface is also a good example of how pure dominance and aggression help reaching power
But they often cause the downfall of those who don’t learn how to “sterilize” the side effects.
Dominance and aggression help in getting
Well, one of the main reasons is that people resent domination.
And instead of wanting to help you, they’ll want to stop you.
Instead of wanting to see you win, they crave for seeing you lose.
We can see it with Trump as well, who has lost plenty of power and control by escalating all kinds of battles that didn’t need to be escalated.
Congress hates him, the press hates him, Mueller hates him, many members of his own party hate him… And I think that deep down his wife might hate him too.
He painted himself into a corner with the wall
That’s an effective way of retaining power.
#4. Power Must Ensue
Healthy, long lasting, high-quality forms of power that have people look up to you is different.
Viktor Frankl in his timeless “Trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen” says that “happiness cannot be pursued. It must ensue”.
That was a simple, yet genius.
Power is similar:
Power cannot be pursued. It must ensue.The Power Moves
But… Ensue from what?
#5. Develop The 3 Foundations of Power
Power is surprisingly simple for many high-quality individuals.
Indeed, the simplest way to becoming powerful is becoming a high-quality person as the two strongly overlap.
Who you are, how much you care, how much responsibility you take and how well you understand people all form the basis of long-lasting power.
- Your Personality
Most people crave a leader and someone to look up to.
But here is the important caveat: they only want to follow and defer to those who are better than they are.
The potential for getting anything you want in life is only limited by your level of skills, and personality.
In short: your power is only as great as you are.
Thus, to increase your power, one of the best investment you can do is investing in developing yourself.
- Emotional Intelligence: Reading Power Dynamics
Like Simon Sinek explains in Leader Eat Last, the most successful and beloved leaders care about the people they lead.
He is not fully right, but he is not wrong either.
The reason why some great leaders are successful is not only because they care, but because the people care about them.
And yes, caring about the people is a great way of achieving that. But not the only one.
The most successful leaders are successful because people want them in power.
Or at least, a good chunk of the people. Or at the very least, a good chunk of the people who matter.
I explain the difference in Social Power, but hopefully you’ll decide to go for a broader appeal.
This also applies for men in intimate relationships (see again the effects of power for power’s sake in Trump’s relationship).
- Social Intelligence: Acting On Power Dynamics
Reading power dynamics well is only half the battle.
The second one is knowing how to act on those power dynamics.
There would be much to say here, but for this quick overview let me just mention a key mindset.
And that mindset is ownership.
The best leaders take responsibility for the results and for the well being of the people around them.
Once you get into a mindset of taking responsibility for people and results
something funny will happen: you stop searching for power because you become powerful.
Mentally first of all.
And then, little by little, you realize that the tables have turned and power comes to you.
People ask you for directions in life, friends and colleagues look at to you. Then bosses give you the best assignments and you start getting promotions and responsibilities.
We’re not done though.
There is one more element…
If you got any question, head onto the forum.