Real power means letting go..
Many people spend a great deal of time and energy trying to control their lives, careers, partners or loved ones to achieve the outcomes they desire and this is often the path to unhappiness and disappointment. It is only by taking the braver course of letting go, with all of the uncertainty which that entails, that you can thrive in a state of flow and enjoy lifes rich surprises and texture.
I have spent many years working with successful and often 'powerful' leaders, some of whom are broadly centred and happy with there lot and sadly many others who are not. For these people career and material success should equate to happiness and fulfilment but they find themselves anxious and confused when it does not. Like children in a cluttered toy room, they are left scratching their heads believing they have all the trappings of success but that the equation seems to have broken down somewhere along the way. Sometimes this is because they have been driven too much by 'outside' pressures, whether these be parental, peer group, need for status and security or other. Inside-out thinking suggests that we as unique human beings will only find true happiness when we are doing what we want and need to do in ways which suit our values and personalities rather than trying to force ourselves into a corporate straitjacket, as so many sadly do. One of the clues lies in the word 'driven' which suggests that some hapless souls are not the masters of their own lives or even decisions and that something or someone else is driving them, and not always in a positive way. Often this expresses itself in a misplaced desire for control.
Those people who achieve success and power as a by-product of doing something they love rather than as an end in its own right are most likely to find fulfilment in its broadest sense. They are often the least controlling people you will ever meet and have the ability to affect change by influence, empowerment and going with the flow. Being centred, mindful and in the moment often makes them attractive to others and enhances their leadership in an entirely positive way. After all, leaders are far more effective when their people chose to follow them because they are inspired by their vision and values rather than feeling constrained or controlled.
Speaking personally, it took me years and one near disaster to get out of these bad habits. Many of these are driven by fear of failure, of the consequences of lost control, ontological anxiety or all of the above. It is only when letting courage rather than fear guide your life that you have any real chance of escaping from the straitjacket and letting go. There are no quick fixes but the good news is that when you do learn to go with the flow of life more freely remarkable things can happen. It will effect the choices you make, the people and experiences which you attract and above all your attitude and outlook. It is an evolutionary process which requires self awareness, humility and an appreciation that life is too short and precious to be too caught up in the tired old Anglo- Saxon language of dominance and control at the expense of all else. Leaders in all walks of life are becoming increasingly aware of this and those who empower their people, have the confidence to allow them to grow and to flourish, stand out a mile for their generosity and wisdom. There is in my opinion a subtle but all too fragile shift in leadership culture, which should be encouraged and supported at every turn.