“If you take more than you give, you are forceful.  If you give more than you take, you are powerful” Anonymous

I am writing this to you today, January 16, 2017, on Martin Luther King Day, because he was a model of the distinction between being powerful and serving others, instead of being forceful and self-serving.


As the Inauguration of a new American president is approaching, on January 20, 2017, I am thinking continuously about the important distinction between Power and Force.

POWER vs. FORCE: Going High or Going Low

We live in a historical time, where being cognizant and alert about the distinction between power vs. force has enormous consequences. In his book “Power vs. Force,” David Hawkins shares the following distinction, based on his lengthy research measuring the energetic frequency levels of consciousness as they pertain to a variety of emotions. 

POWER vs. FORCE: Going High or Going Low

(Adapted from Power vs Force: the hidden determinants of human behavior, David R. Hawkins, MD, PhD)

  • Force is below the "Courage Line," whereas Power is above the "Courage Line."
  • Force is re-active, whereas Power is pro-active
  • Force arises from lower consciousness levels such as shame, fear, anger, rage, pride, whereas Power arises from higher consciousness levels such as courage, neutrality, will, reason, love.
  • Force manifests in the world as divisive, limited, destructive, polarizing, whereas Power manifests in the world in unifying ways, motivated by the desire for the well-being of humanity.   

And so true and inspired leadership is a leadership of Power, above the "Courage Line," a Level 5 Leadership as described by Jim Collins in his book "From Good to Great."

Jim Collins makes the following distinction between Level 4 and Level 5 Leadership:

  • The Level 4 LeaderJim Collinsdescribes this leader as a larger than life celebrity, who wants to be a larger than life hero. The Level 4 Leader is focused on what they can get from their position: fame, fortune, adulation, power.
  • The Level 5 Leader

    Jim Collins describes this leader as a study in duality: modest and will full, humble and fearless. The Level 5 Leader channels their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of the organization. The Level 5 Leader is focused not on what they can get, but what they want to build.

And so to honor Martin Luther King Jr. today, here is one of his quotes:

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy”  

May we as equal citizens of our planet, in these times of "challenge and controversy," powerfully act above the "Courage Line." May we express, each in our own way, our Level 5 Leadership for the continuous "Tikkun Olam," Hebrew for partners in the repair, healing, transformation and completion of our world.

With laser-focussed intention,