There are many ways to become powerful and many different meanings of the word power, but there are fundamental groundings that need to be achieved before you can reach any position of power. I would class myself as someone in a position of power, not only as the owner of a company but also in the position that I put myself in daily at work and at home. This doesn’t mean to say that Dave too doesn’t share the power but maybe in a slightly different way. Dave does have the ultimate power in Bronco, but he passes much of his authority onto me as a symbol of his power, but also acknowledging my power.
There are two distinct types of power, inner and outer power. To achieve overall power you first need to gain inner power and strength. Inner power allows you to achieve things and reach goals, to cope with difficulties and to stand your ground. This comes from experiences throughout your live and you can learn how to gain more inner power by training yourself. I have personally had quite a few challenges to deal with in my life including my parents splitting up when I was 10, coping with an alcoholic parent (well done Mum for nearly 17 years of sobriety :)), messing up my A levels, dealing with unexpected circumstances when Dave & I first got married, losing people close to me and having my youngest son get through meningitis. All of these things are sent to test us and I always believe “everything happens for a reason”, even though at the time it’s not always clear.
Inner power comes from being able to absorb bad news, to remain calm and to think through problems. When you have inner power you learn not to panic or to over react. You have to take strong actions and to deal with problems rather than being helpless. Not to say asking for help is a weakness, as asking for the right help is a sign of inner power. You also need to be fairly independent and not to rely on others for money, support or praise. It all sounds quite harsh and cold but it is these abilities that will build on your overall self confidence and ability to cope. Once you are confident and “bullet proof” you are on your way to gaining inner power, but one thing that you also need is knowledge, and more knowledge than others around you…or at least the ability to make people believe that you have more knowledge than them.
Once you have got your inner power you can then influence others around you and build up your outer power. This is the power that others think that you have, the perceived power. By showing your inner strength and marketing your confidence or ability to cope you gain the outer power. You don’t need to be loud or arrogant as I always feel that being assertive enables you to gain the position that you want and keep in control. Much of the outer power that many leaders have comes too from body language to gain respect sub consciously from others. I have always been interested in body language of others and it’s something that I intend to blog about in the future as there are tell tale signs of people’s real feelings that are non verbal messages. But before you can gain any outer power you need to have mastered and grown your inner power first.