With conversations that build trust and allow us to influence, we start to exercise personal power.
Ali is a powerful man. In 1974 he defeated a stronger George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle. The documentary “When we were Kings” records that fight, the lead-up and the aftermath. If you haven’t seen it and want to learn something about power, watch it. There is a scene after the fight when Ali is talking with the local Congolese children and the media. He has been exhausted by eight bruising rounds with George Foreman. All Ali’s physical strength and bravado has gone. All that’s left is the human being he is. He hasn’t the energy to get in the way of himself. He’s being real, and that’s what I think is real power. Today Ali’s physical strength has gone, but he is still powerful, because he knows who he is and acts that way.
Some argue that power comes from position, wealth or knowledge. And they are right, but it’s an illusory and dependant sort of power. Some have power that transcends position, wealth or knowledge. This power comes from who they are - rather than what they do or have or know. This is the real power that comes from knowing yourself, accepting yourself, and being able to act from your own instinct. It’s easy to forget this when interacting with the world. We all need to be reminded of who we are, and what we’re here to say. This is always more powerful than being and saying what’s expected of us.
And real power connects with emotion.