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Autumn Road

The 5 Minute Leader

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  • Writer's pictureCarl Blanz

How to be Powerful.

Somewhere along the line, I came across this little list of powers. I’ve had it so long that I don’t even remember where I got it. If it’s familiar to you, please email me, I’d love to give proper credit to its origin.


Kinds of power in order of their effectiveness, 10—least effective and 1— most effective:


10 – Physical/Financial Strength (most primitive)

9 – Manipulation (moving to get things indirectly)

8 – Persuasion

7 – Assertion

6 – Wu-Wei (a.k.a. watchful waiting, or action without striving)

5 – Accepting

4 – Letting go

3 – Wisdom

2 – Compassion

1 – Unconditional Love (highest order)


Here’s a distinction between control and power: Control is an often-unconscious response to fear. On the list above, 10 – 7 are degrees of controlling.

Power in this context is a conscious act that takes a bigger than “me & now” picture into account.

When COVID hit last March, our business was drastically affected—about 75% of our clients are in the restaurant and/or resort business.

I remember those first two weeks and how urgently everyone felt that something needed to be done, but no one knew what to do. Our clients were like many of you, in survival mode.

We were on a call trying to figure out how to support them in that moment. Everything we came up with felt like we would be distracting them from their survival plans. We came to the conclusion, the most powerful move we could make at that time was to watch and wait.

Later, we did come up with ways to support our clients— and then the timing was right.

Unconditional Love:

Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) was a powerful man. He is sometimes credited with saving public television. He impacted millions of kids and parents. To see in real time, the power of unconditional love, look at the transformation of the chairman of this committee, Mr. Pastore, in this six-minute video: Mr. Rogers testifies before senate subcommittee

Bonus: to tie Mr. Rogers and unconditional love into a past blog on Play the Edge, watch this two-minute video: Being black in Mr. Rogers Neighborhood

Here is a chart: Fear = Unassumed Power

If we can support you in understanding more about how control works, and how to access more of your personal power, please reach out.


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