“I don’t have much power, so I’m not much of a leader.”
Don’t believe it. Power and leadership are like apples and oranges. Sure, they’re both fruit, but one is tangy and the other is sweet. One is juicy; the other … not so much. One has a thick skin that you don’t eat; the other has a thin skin that is eating-optional.
Power involves force and control. Having power means I can force people to do what I want and control the way they do it. However, when I leave the scene the likelihood that people will continue carrying on my system is just about zero.
Influence involves the ability to bring lasting change to a group of people. People will adopt my ideas, innovations, and dreams as their own.
Hitler had an incredible amount of power. For 12 years he was the supreme ruler of Germany’s political, military, and police forces. But, his plan for the world died in a bunker in Berlin at the same time he did.
Martin Luther King Jr. had almost no power. For 13 years he was a minority voice from a minority race in southern America where the mere color of his skin meant a lot of people weren’t going to listen to him. But he had influence. His influence continues to grow and blossom and his ideas have been adopted by a whole new generation since his death.
Leadership isn’t about power; it’s about influence.