Power Defined

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We all have power to do acts we lack the motive to do – to buy a gun and slaughter people, to crush the feelings of loved ones who cannot defend themselves, to drive a car down a crowded city sidewalk, to torture an animal.

We all have the motives to do things we do not have the resources to do – to be President or senator, to buy a luxurious yacht, to give away millions to charity, to travel for months on end, to right injustices, to tell off the boss.

The two essentials of power are motive and resource. The two are interrelated. Lacking motive, resources diminish; lacking resources, motive lies idle. Lacking either one, power collapses. Because both resource and motive are needed, and because both may be in short supply, power is an elusive and limited thing.

Leadership, MacGregor Burns, p. 12.