Key Milestones on the Power Literacy Journey

meaning through work owning & growing power stewarding transformation Apr 03, 2024
Key Milestones on the Power Literacy Journey

It always flags my attention when the same question comes forth from different people in a short amount of time. I’ve had that happen this week around the experiential journey of practicing power literacy and regenerative power embodiment here at Wayfinding, so I wanted to share it with you too in case it’s helpful.


In the journey of power literacy and regenerative power embodiment, as I teach it, there are key marking thresholds and corresponding patterns for people.



STAGE 0 || Pre-Exposure

In this stage, heart-centered leaders who’d feel called to Wayfinding have yet to be exposed to the Power Landscape in any form and they usually have vague, unconsciously negative associations with the word “power.” They probably couldn’t define it in a useful way if they had to and they aren’t aware that their negative associations with power as a concept are part of what is actively obstructing the expression of their greatest power. They tend to speak about power in monolithic terms (“the people with power”) or if they can distinguish things like Positional Power, Decision Making Power, Financial Power, or Privilege Power, their list of power types ends there.

They REALLY care about stopping sources of pain and injustice at work and in the world, but they don’t have a ton of clarity on how they can get leverage without depleting themselves or compromising in some essential way. This has been true for 99% of people who come through the door here including even the most celebrated C-Suite leaders, seasoned industry experts, DEI guides, devoted spiritual practitioners, avid self-development participants, longtime activists, psychedelic guides etc.



STAGE 1 || Seeing the Map

Once someone is exposed to the Power Landscape and philosophy (through one of my talks or my ebook), something in them changes.
Actually, many things start to change.

  1. They can’t unsee the map. Many people have said so! They’ve crossed a paradigm-shifting consciousness threshold. They start seeing that power can be regenerative (not just degenerative), that they’ve always had power, they currently have power, they have a lot more of it than they thought, and they can expand their power without causing harm(!) but didn’t have any of the language/framing/framework so haven’t been able to interact with all of their power consciously or as well as they would like. (Eg. This can manifest in people realizing the true nature of their mastery or the value they bring at work in a way they’ve never known from their job titles).
  2. They want to know THEIR power patterns across the 36 types. They may not be ready to right now, but the desire is awakened.
  3. Their Shadow Power usually starts throwing a fit that it’s being revealed. This can manifest as body pain, intellectual overwhelm, wordless-ness, intellectual nit-picking, or surges of big emotions (grief, shame, disgust, anger, etc). It can also manifest as demonstrated resistance to taking the next step of doing the Power Assessment despite what they express.


STAGE 2 || Seeing Their Power Patterns

They take the Power Assessment for Leaders, get their interpretive summary and start to see what makes them trustworthy, untrustworthy, and prone to self-doubt about how they conduct the 36 types of power. They feel motivated to put down their Shadow Power patterns and more fully embody their Power that Serves the Whole, but they may not know how. Also people will inevitably start understanding thorny conflicts in their life through exposure to the power definitions and being able to see, not only what they themselves are doing, but what their coworkers, partners/spouses, friends, and family are actually doing to create stuckness or conflict.


STAGE 3 || Initiating a New Relationship with Power

They continue into the Power Initiation for Leaders and undertake their first conscious identity change. They step into a new relationship power itself — one that contains possibility and joy, not just domination and disaster — and they claim a new identity around their own power through deep, guided reflection and experimentation. They own their current gifts more fully, they acknowledge all their types of Shadow Power, and learn that they can have sovereignty and agency to conduct power in more regenerative ways. They also realize that the work has just begun.


STAGE 4 || Personal Practice in the Dojo

Beginning this stage they know they can see in a different way, but they want to learn to BE in a different way. Through mentorship with me (whether in group power coaching, exec coaching, or other forums), they begin to learn the embodied skills to sense their own power, distinguish between their many-flavored Power that Serves the Whole and Shadow Power reactions in real-time, and how to stop unconsciously letting their Shadow Power drive. These skills are hard-earned and invigorating to attain. They realize this is an ongoing practice to develop further.


STAGE 5 || Desires for Cultural Transformation

Once someone gets traction with their personal regenerative power embodiment skills and the reliable lifts in aliveness, clarity, effectiveness and joy that come with them, they want to bring others in their work and life into power literacy. This can look like a leader wanting to introduce their teammates, spouse, and/or clients to the Power Assessment & Power Initiation to start building shared language and a shared culture around commitment to Power that Serves the Whole.

This motivation is multi-pronged:

  1. It just feels better.
  2. It’s a wildly more effective way of working (energetically, financially, etc)
  3. It centers each person back in their own sovereignty and responsibility. Aka now everyone becomes consciously responsible for both the benefit and the harm they conduct with their power. This last piece is a huge relief and helps dispel patterns of hypervigilance to defend against Shadow Power encounters with others.


STAGE 6 || Accounting for Their Customers' Shadows

At this stage, the power practitioner realizes they have unconsciously been catering to aspects of their customers’ Shadow Power patterns in their CX & UX — and they want to remedy the situation. This brings them into a more advanced stage of mentorship in using the Power Landscape to help their customers step out of their Shadows and into their Power that Serves the Whole more directly, along with whatever service or product they provide.


Stage 7 || Commitment to a New Standard

By now, commitment to Power that Serves the Whole and regenerative power embodiment become a foundational agreement with themselves. They will only work in settings where they can move from and collaborate in practicing Power that Serves the Whole. They make it a part of their most intimate relationships in life as a form of deep love. And they’re always down to face each next frontier of expansion into Power that Serves the Whole and the necessary rites of passage that arise in facing their Shadow Power patterns because #obviously. The unfolding journey of it all, the aliveness and alignment that comes with it, and the new octaves of benefit that ripple out are just. SO. Delicious. They often say, “I’m already all in — let’s keep going.” They want to see how much more amazing and enriching life can be. For all of us.


I hope this is helpful.

Because I’ve seen how it’s practically impossible for people to truly understand what occurs in later stages beyond where they are to evaluate if they want to go further.


Also, if you love what’s happening here and want more, check out last week’s incredible collab with David Todd (wonderful Wayfinding community member and Partner at Latitude Regenerative Real Estate) — Regenerative Power Dynamics in Systems Transformation. The replay is available now.




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