So what does it say that I was just celebrated as Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women? Power as a concept has been used by a lot of people in a variety of ways, mostly in a fashion that has been detrimental to us as a society.
Its not a new concept, but I believe in the notion of emPOWER than I do the naked purity of Power (and yes its a little em to the mighty POWER). Lets deal with the obvious question first, why is it a little ‘em’ compared to the rest of the word? Then we follow it up with what does that have to do with being Powerful?
Believing you have power is a a false notion. Power is thrust upon or entrusted by those that give it, it isn't something that you can magically have one day. To have power, be it the traditional sense of positional power or some other form of it, is a falsehood that people believe they have due to position, money, status, etc. This is a fallacy.
The reason we look at empowering and consider the little ‘em’ is because, empowering, unlike POWER is not a ‘P’owerful action (if you will excuse the obvious pun). Empowering people requires finesse, mentoring, coaching, leading, most importantly trusting and this is not an easy task. To truly empower somebody is to give the reins up, even for short amounts of time to those that you believe should have it and perhaps could be good at it. Forcing people into a position of power does not get you their best, it gets you their highs and in most cases, their lows. Empowering, by and large, brings about positive highs and even with the interim lows, eventually a long term high.
We then look at this correlation of empowering and power and realize that it is more of a notion of empowering than it is of giving someone power. To have those that you lead, work with, partner up with, mentor or grow with, empower you to lead them or lead an initiative or an organization is a trust rarely given without that same level of trust being received. Imagine my surprise then that those that I admire, and I work with, both entrusted and empowered me to these great heights and recognized me in this fashion.
With that said, I am humbled to be in a league of powerful women who I’m sure, empower and lead others by their words and actions each day. To be in this cadre of leaders, not just women, is a honour that cannot be replicated.
Those that empower me to have received this great accolade, know that I could not have done it without you. Your kind words and your thrust up of this leader is humbling and certainly appreciated.