Take Your Soul To Work: Day 5 – Power
“Power changes people. Abraham Lincoln once wrote: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
“Lincoln had the largest shoe size of any American president—a size 14—but those shoes were hard to fill, not because of their size but because of his personal humility. When Lincoln died, he had in his pocket a news-clipping of unrest in the Confederate army. His very last day on this earth, he carried the news of his detractors close to his side. The power of the presidency mattered, but the power of equality mattered much more. It was a vision of justice worth living for, but he had to die for it instead. When you have power, it is hard to remember not having power. As a leader, it can be easy to confuse power with influence. You are powerful when you exert authority over those who are powerless to disagree. You are influential when people want to follow you out of admiration, respect and inspiration. People want to be led by you. They do not have to be led by you. Leading to serve others helps us reevaluate power while growing influence. As a leader, you will be changed by power. Strive instead for influence. If you want to test someone’s leadership, Lincoln told us, give that person power.
How have you been changed by power?”
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