January 30, 2008

The Art, Science & Morality of Power: Part 1

Guided by centuries of advice like Machiavelli's and Robert Greene's, we tend to believe that attaining power requires force, deception, manipulation, and coercion. Indeed, we might even assume that positions of power demand this kind of conduct that to run smoothly, society needs leaders who are willing and able to use power this way. As seductive as these notions are, they are dead wrong.

Instead, a new science of power has revealed that power is wielded most effectively when it's used responsibly, by people who are attuned to and engaged with the needs and interests of others. Years of research suggests that empathy and social intelligence are vastly more important to acquiring and exercising power than are force, deception, or terror. In this article, Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, examines three myths about power.
“The final piece of reaching for authentic power is releasing your own to a higher form of wisdom.” -Gary Zukav
For inspiration on unlocking your own personal power check out this brief essay: "The Seat of Power".

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