False Spells About Power We Must Undo

meaning through work stewarding transformation Feb 01, 2024
Fallacies About Leadership and Power We Must Rethink


A common headwind I’m witnessing among heart-centered leaders aiming to make beneficial impact is a story about good people and bad people.


I encounter this story every day in conversations and most certainly on social media platforms. Though the actors in the story change, the bones of the story are the same. It basically goes like this, “Those people with power (or) the people with power are the problem/bad” and we need to “assert how wrong they are/fix them” or “shame/get rid of/fire/cancel/destroy/overpower them.”


Here’s my potentially revolutionary or provocative perspective—there aren’t good people and bad people.

All of us conduct Power that Serves the Whole & Shadow Power across the 36 types of power. Which means we all cause benefit and harm in different ways. And we’re largely doing so unconsciously since most of us don’t know how to distinguish the many flavors of Power that Serves the Whole and Shadow Power.

The inability to distinguish the many facets of power and to see power as separate from power abuse creates deep internal conflict for leaders committed to serving the greater good. Can you see why? Because each heart-centered leader intensely doesn’t want to be a “bad person” or create harm to others. So they tend to choke their power back (Power that Serves the Whole & Shadow Power alike) out of fear of causing harm to others, which directs their Shadow Power inward and causes harm to themselves. In this process, they cause harm to others as well because being in our diminished expression doesn’t uplift or enliven others. That, too, causes harm.

This is why power literacy is so liberating. Because we each regain our agency, our sovereignty, and the embodied capacity to joyfully be centered in our multifaceted expression of power while others are also fully embodying their own power. We learn how to not get knocked off balance by our Shadow Powers just because someone else is in their radiance or brilliance OR in a Shadow Power moment. And we learn how to track our many Shadow Powers, curbing our impulse to damn, blame, or judge others or ourselves.


Here’s a new story I invite you to tell about power:

Power can be a beautiful, uplifting, liberatory force when embodied intentionally. When you think of power, I want you to think of yourself. I want you to feel uplifted and enlivened by the possibilities you can embody and create from your expanded Power that Serves the Whole.


 In the #futureofwork and #newwaysofworking movements,
I want YOU to be a leading edge. Yes, personally.
Because you evolve faster than your team culture.


I want you to find how you need to work to bring your genius to life and feel fully alive. How you need to work to make your greatest impact and bring your body of work to light while prospering, feeling spacious, supported by the most amazing values-aligned team of fellow people in their sovereign embodiment, and loving your life as much as possible.

Because the path of toiling in martyred exhaustion DOESN’T WORK. This path cannot pave the way to new worlds, new possibilities, more equity, more inclusivity, more inspired solutions, or a regenerative future because that path is rooted in Shadow Power tropes despite the central intention of aiming to serve the greater good.


Breathing regenerative power to being starts within each of us.

This is the path of alchemical leadership, sovereign leadership, and liberatory leadership.


Simple Reflections

  1. What are the stories you tell yourself about power and about your power? If you imagined telling these same stories to a child, would they aspire to embody power or would they be afraid or confused? Fyi, your subconscious mind listens to and records everything you think and operates by it just like a child.
  2. What confuses you about power, specifically YOUR power? Rather than trying to jump to answers or antidotes right away, write out your questions and illuminate the blocks and blindspots you carry.
  3. If you want support embodying your power in a more regenerative way, learn more below to join my 6-week group power coaching accelerator starting next week.


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Our Capacity for Regenerative Change

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