A Posture of Empowerment

In a recent conversation, shared with a member of my local service club as we were ringing bells for the Salvation Army Christmas fundraiser, I was asked, "What do you do?" I said I lead a nonprofit organization that does experiential leadership and character education. He asked, "So you teach people about hierarchy and how to respect authority?" I said, actually, we teach servant leadership which is more about sharing power than about wielding it.

In our trainings we use an initiative called The Great Chair of Power in which participants are invited to arrange 6 chairs, a table, and a bottle of water, in an arrangement where one object or place is in the "position of power." It's fascinating how many different ways people envision and experience power in their lives. For many, power - whether practiced by a CEO, frontline manager, teacher, or law enforcement officer, is represented by a posture or position of someone being higher or over someone else.

We are entering a season of the year when Christians celebrate the coming of Christ to this world. As I reflect again on this story, I can't help but wonder how profound it is that something so transformational came through an innocent and vulnerable baby - a posture, not of hierarchy, but of empowering love.

Here are several questions gently falling through my mind like the snowflakes outside my window:
1. How does my posture of leadership help and inspire others to offer their best?
2. Are there more effective ways to join others so that, together, the power of teamwork is
unleashed to reach the goals we all desire?
3. Am I open to exploring ways to improve my leadership posture - to come down from a position
of being over or above, if releasing control opens space for love to find its way through the
release of the best gifts of everyone on my team?

Ritch