Taking action in the world requires that we expend energy, and this energy is applied in one of two ways: With ‘power’ or with ‘force’.

‘Force’ is the notion that we must ‘make’ something happen. It comes from the belief that we can not only control the world around us, but that we should control it. Force is dictatorial and demanding. Force places human beings above nature, other beings, and God. When we act through force we push against nature and demand that the universe conform to our will. Fear-based management is ‘force’ in action.

Force comes from attachment, need, judgment, ‘againstness’ and fear.

‘Power’ is the application of energy in a natural, flowing way. It stems from the idea that every human being has a gift, and that when those gifts are applied in service to the world then great things are created. Power accepts a greater unfolding and seeks to go with rather than against. Power is cooperative and conciliatory. When we act with power we access the natural forces in the universe and use them magnify our energy. Empathetic leadership is ‘power’ in action.

Power comes from acceptance, service, grace, surrender, and love.

If you look throughout history you will see that actions taken through Force are temporary and painful. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot…all used Force to get their way…yet none lasted more than a handful of years. Force can ‘make’ things happen, but those things are unsustainable because they are based in fear and not in love.

Jesus, the Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King…these were people who acted with Power and created lasting movements that changed millions of lives. Actions taken with Power live forever because they exist in concert with nature, not in an attempt to control it. Power is effective because it founded in love, and love is the creative force behind everything in the universe.

Power has an impact that is many hundreds of times more powerful than Force. If you want to be effective in your life (either as a leader or person), then you must first become aware of the energy behind your actions. If your actions are taken with love and in acknowledgement of a larger purpose, then they have power. If your actions are taken in fear or anger, with ‘force’, then they will be weak and unproductive.

Power attracts and Force repels.

Think about this the next time you decide to act. Notice your impulses. Find the love and gifts inside of you and you will find your own Power. When you do you will also find that you are more ‘creative’ then you ever thought possible!

-KC Hildreth