Power Is Like A Flame

Power is like a flame. If you hold it too tight, it can smother. If you hold it too tight it will also burn. And like fire, it can be beneficial, or conversely, it can hurt others.  It needs fuel, oxygen and a source of heat and likewise, power needs fuel, fresh air, and energy or it can’t be sustained.

When you get power, give it away.  You’ll be surprised at how fast it returns to you.  In fact, the more power you give, the more it comes back.  If you empower those around you, they are eager to return the power to you.  Those who hold power close to their heart and fail to share it are doomed to see it die off.  If you fail to empower those around you, they begin to resent your power and want it for themselves, and when they get it themselves, they see your example and won’t share it, much less give any of it away.

Those who are confident know that their power actually comes from others and are comfortable with that.  In doing so, people are comfortable with handing it to them, because they know it won’t be used against them.  When you give power, you gain trust, and trust is the most important element in any relationship, especially with the people you hope to inspire.

4 Comments

  • Dennis Shannon says:

    This is so true. Whoever wrote this knows their stuff. Having been a Volunteer for 30 years and a Chief for the last 17 I totally agree. Chief’s and people in charge need to let COMPOTENT OTHERS that have been on for along time step up and use what they’ve been trained to do. So many Chief’s I know must be afraid to let someone step up for fear I guess of being replaced. If that is all it takes you should be replaced. Being Chief is like a coach at a ball game. It is entirely too late to play Chief once the game begins. What they know is the way it will go.

  • Jon D. Marsh says:

    Gosh, the way you describe power is the same way somebody described love to me… or was that Johnny Cash singing about the Ring of Fire…I went down,down,down, and the flames got higher…

  • The more you empower others, the more they can empower you.
    The more others can work without you, the more work you can get done.
    The more you share with people, the better the relationship. They’ll come to you when stuff’s not right and that’s an early warning system.

    There are some exceptions, of course, and modifications according to who people are.

    Great post! Thank you.

  • fm114fd says:

    The irony of this post… I’d love to share it with a certain captain (yes, I intentionally used a lower-case c). He’s the epitome of “Those who hold power close to their heart and fail to share it are doomed to see it die off. If you fail to empower those around you, they begin to resent your power and want it for themselves, and when they get it themselves, they see your example and won’t share it, much less give any of it away” BUT, the entire concept would be lost on him- he’s blinded by his wonton greed for power and control. No one on his shift respects him.

    Thank god (and the Chief) that I don’t work for him… MY Captain is the model for delegation of power, teamwork and cooperation. And we respect him.

    Thanks for an awesome blog, another fantastic post, and the continued inspiration to be better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *