Power and Influence


What would you rather have: power or influence?

Let me define these:

  • Power is what Washington, DC has. It passes laws, makes policies, regulates society, and issues orders that control daily life in big and little ways.
  • Influence is what Hollywood has. It creates movies and TV shows which shape culture and change our perspective in overt and subtle ways.

Power is visible – the limos, the buildings, the suits, and other trappings which indicate this person has a great deal of authority. The President of the US is the most stereotypical sign of great power.

Influence is less visible – it is often wrapped up in a person or even just a concept. An artist (Picasso), actor (Marilyn Monroe), or author (Mark Twain) are common examples of influence.

Power is overt while influence can be understated. Power is a command; influence is a change in the way of thinking. Power is intimidating but influence is often welcomed. Power is immediate while influence can take time to take root.

If you had the chance to be a person of power or of influence, which would you choose?

I choose influence – its effects last longer and are received better by others. But that’s me – what about you?


Lead On!