Good morning, I’m Chaplain, (LTC) Michael Jaques a chaplain in the US Army Reserve.
This morning I want to talk about the stages of power development that people go through. Really, there are four stages of power according to Dr. McCullum, an expert in this area.
The first stage is when a person feels powerful being near powerful people. For instance, an administrative assistant for a CEO may feel powerful working in the boss’ office.
The next stage of power is when a person learns some insights into, for example, human development. He begins to understand what makes people tick and has some control over himself. A psychologist would be an example of a person in this stage.
The third stage is when you begin to have the ability assert yourself over others…such as in a sporting event or a debating match. In this stage a person can even fulfil their need for power through their ability to HELP others.
This is the stage a lot of people get stuck, especially those in the helping professions such as social workers, nurses, doctors, pastors. They are able to develop through the first three stages as a result of their education and training experiences. They get accustomed to helping those in need and find themselves at a loss when unable resolve a particular situation. AND it doesn’t matter how much you refine you skills, there will always be instances when you are powerless.
The final stage, then, of power development is when the person is less concerned about themselves or how they feel. There is the old Hindu story that illustrates this idea. A warrior has to decide whether or not to fight against his own people. He receives wise counsel that he must fight because it is his duty to fight. The consequences are irrelevant. He should not be happy or sad -or- see it as success or failure. He should only find satisfaction that he did what he was supposed to do.
People who get to this stage are empowered by their obligations or a cause that they are committed to. They see themselves as instruments of a higher power in which they are able to serve and influence others.
They have learned the dictum “Yield to higher authority, serve it, and you will feel happy and strong”.