Gain power by sharing power to empower others

Many years ago the president of Zimbabwe ranted at a rally that the leader of the opposition in South Africa was a threat to all revolutionary governments in Africa. I remember thinking, “Wow! With that silly statement Robert Mugabe gave Tony Leon far more power and recognition than Mr. Leon could have hoped to get on his own.”

I have never forgotten the lesson. Don’t give power to your opponents by arguing with them, or by defending yourself, unless you absolutely must engage with them. Using power this way weakens you.

Yet, it is possible to get more power by giving power away. The difference is in the giving. When you share love you don’t end with less love. Same with an idea. Love and ideas grow through sharing.

You will gain power if you share power to empower someone. You will lose power if you use power to diminish someone.