Action Wheel Leadership
The leadership metaphors power page teaches the leadership metaphor view that life is a conflict between ups versus downs. Each leadership metaphor represents one of the Action Wheel dimensions of leadership as developed in Dr. Robert Terry's book Authentic Leadership: Courage In Action.
Action Wheel Dimension: Power
Leadership Metaphor: Life is a Conflict Between Ups Versus Downs
Our everyday speech contains many up-down metaphors, each reflecting the belief that up is better than down. It's easy to come up with a number of examples:
They are beneath contempt
Those who order their lives in terms of up and down believe that the body metaphor disguises fundamental conflicts in a society that is a battleground of irreconcilable vested interests.
Only through resistance and constant organizing will the oppressed downs eventually overthrow the powerful ups.
The leadership challenge in this dimension is to create a shift from positional power to shared power. Leadership recognizes that shared power and active participation create vested ownership. Channels are created to shift power to where it is most needed in the organization. Leadership shifts from specific positions to essentially everywhere. The entire organization must have the courage to learn together. This requires humility, listening astutely, being rigorously open, speaking up, trust, and sharing power.
Power is making and keeping decisions over time. Leadership, here, is creating ownership through shared power and participation. A tremendous challenge for leadership is to turn destructive power into participatory codetermination.
Leadership engages others. When leadership is engagement, power no longer lives exclusively at the top of the organization. Channels are created to move power to where it is most needed within the organization.
Ownership Through Shared Power and Participation
Qualities Needed For Sharing Power - Empowerment
The top of an organization cannot empower a workforce. The top of the organization can set up a context and create the circumstances so people can empower themselves. The voice of the stakeholders and multi-perspective thinking are features of action in the Power Dimension. Power shifts to anywhere it is needed in the organization.
To achieve ownership through shared power and participation, the following qualities must be nurtured and valued within the organization: