this past weekend was another wisdom-filled weekend thanks to my grad class and church. the grad school-church punch combo has been knocking me hard. so, among the multitudes of things i learned in school, the one that really stuck was our discussion on personal power versus positional power. to simply define:
positional power: the power and influence that is given to one from an external source. this may include money, prestige, family heritage, job title, degrees, a nice piece of land, and anything else that would give you an upper hand.
personal power: the power and influence that is completely internal to oneself. this includes your confidence, ambition, adaptability, determination, character, self-worth, and other positive qualities that one has attained through life experiences.
positional power can only get you so far due to the fact that these can be easily stripped from you. you change the surroundings, situations, and people, those with positional power find that they have no power at all. in contrast, those with personal power, no matter what waves of changes their life comes in collision with, they will continue to hold power and influence over the people around them. a true leader doesn’t merely possess a positional power, but personal power. a true leader knows how to influence person and persons outside of their comfort zone in unknown arenas.
this gets to a point that my pastor (it’s his birthday today!) made today. we are to be the salt of the earth .. not of the church. we may hold positional power and speak in great authority in the house of God, but do we exert that same power outside the walls of our saltshaker?
God’s desire is to shake us out of that saltshaker and sprinkle us onto the flavorless arenas of the world. we all possess personal power or saltiness because God’s already given it to us. let’s get out there and bring more flavor to the world.