The Most Powerful People
Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, Sheryl Sandberg, Vladimir Putin, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Narendra Modi, Mark Zuckerberg? Nah.
These individuals have ‘power’ (and wealthy AF) but their decisions are heavily influenced by the needs of their citizens, shareholders, employees or customers. And rightfully so, they have a ton of responsibility on their plate and have amassed great fortunes and and respective authority to be able to help at global scale.
Let’s take a step back from who mainstream media suggests are the world’s “most powerful people.”
Let’s also take out spiritual figures. It’s not to discount religion, we can recognize at the highest level that these figures are as powerful as it gets. Nothing can influence them.
You were born a boss, what happened?
Babies are arguably the most power humans on this planet. As a baby you were fed, changed, bathed and entertained and all you had to do was eat, sleep, poop, cry and put up with overzealous adults ‘baby’ talking for your attention. As you got older you were told ‘right’ from ‘wrong’ and influenced with religious and cultural beliefs. This began your normalization into society and the first drain of your inherit power.
Power is perception. We typically associate power with influence, authority, wealth and fame among other factors. True power comes from authenticity, humility and carrying out a life in which you are least influenced by external factors.
The most powerful people are not obvious. He or she is not necessarily the leader of a country, successful entrepreneur, CEO or a celebrity. Most of these people have many external factors influencing the actions they take. Real power can’t be controlled. People who hold power have no expectations, little ego, have a lot to give and little to lose.
Powerful people live abundantly in our communities and you likely perceive them to be average. Here are indicators to look out for in which powerful people demonstrate. Keep in mind it’s rare to find a single individual that can demonstrate all of these characteristics.
Abundant in wealth but not excessive.
They’ve spent their lives building multiple streams of income and wake up to a rising net worth each day. They can vacation, afford a modest place to live and provide all needs for their families without stress. They’ve accumulated enough wealth and passive income to leave their day job or sell their business without lowering their standard of living. They recognize the feeling that an abundance of wealth yields and don’t strive for excess for the sake of it.
They're hard to sell to.
They don’t strive to make an impression on anyone with material items and generally keep a low profile. They invest excess cash for the long term. Marketers and the media have a hard time selling to these individuals as they have already acquired everything they need and don’t place a lot of value on wants or nice to haves.
They give their power away.
These individuals empower their peers to make key decisions on their behalf. They’re confident delegating decisions knowing that in the worst case they’ll manage the outcome with little stress.
Respected > feared.
They’ve built their reputation on trust and respect. When they have an agreement with a peer and the peer cannot deliver, it evokes a feeling of disappointment within the peer. People of power don’t evoke the feeling of fear of being reprimanded.
Will drop it all for their family.
No amount of money or status is worth pursuing if there is a bigger problem at home that needs their attention. Powerful people can leave it all on the table and check out to focus 100% of their time and attention when their family needs it.
Don’t need to see friends often.
Powerful people have few confidants and an abundance of a loyal friends. They only spend time with their friends if they believe it’s the best use of their time. They’re focused on their personal and family priorities but will always take or return a call from a friend who reaches out for their ear. Their friends understand and respect the fact that they will not always see each other for entertainment but can count on seeing them if they commit to being there.
Let politics happen.
They’re aware of the political climate and if they don’t get their preferred outcome they don’t waste energy complaining and discussing it publicly. They accept reality and find practical ways to adapt and make the system work for them.
Give without expecting a return.
Money is only one way these people give. Majority of their contribution is time. They’re great listeners and speak only when it’s essential. Time spent with their peers isn’t only fun but energizing and reflective on life. They’ll spend however long it takes to help someone with a life moment and rarely interfere or counter the discussion with their own personal agenda.
They’re open to new opportunities.
When a new opportunity presents itself whether it be a career, investment or relationship they have the leverage and flexibility to entertain it. They have longer term goals but are not fixed with taking one set path to achieve it. They’ll alter their path to entertain interesting opportunities.
Aware they don't have tomorrow.
They know 'life happens' and don't walk around as if tomorrow is guaranteed.
Humility is a top strength.
They are the first to admit when they’re wrong, laugh at themselves and aren’t scared to fail publicly. By being candid and straightforward about their shortcomings they make it hard for others to poke fun at them.
See opportunity as abundant and everywhere vs. competitive.
People are in natural competition with each other to advance to the ‘next step.’ The majority see opportunity as competitive and scare meaning that there is always a winner or loser. Powerful people see opportunity as everywhere and abundant. They know that every failure means another opportunity will present itself.
Their best work is done in the background.
They thrive off seeing their peers succeed. These individuals are key resources and confidants to people in the spotlight or in perceived mainstream power positions. They’re able to stay level headed and make sense of multiple opinions to help their peers make objective decisions.
High sense of self-awareness.
They don’t care about what others think and care at the same time if that makes sense? Everyone is human, negative comments hurt people no matter how confident they present themselves. Powerful people are fully aware of their flaws and appreciate their peer’s feedback but don’t allow their peers to impose their opinions on them and alter the way they operate.
They’re not loved by everyone. They don’t try to make everyone happy and as a result they’ll naturally turn people off who may not flow with their perception. In the end, they recognize that having haters is an indicator that they're doing it right as they’re being true to themselves.
Viewed as the underdog.
You don’t expect great things from them. People secretly want them to fail once they start to climb and they leverage this position to keep moving forward to everyone's surprise.
Make decisions that benefit the long term.
Long term benefit is the game they play in decision making. They’ll forgo most short term benefits and take bets on longer term practical investments. They have high patience to see things through to success or failure.
Often perceived as high in risk but in reality take little risk.
Because of their great success they’re often associated with high tolerance for risk. They in fact are more risk averse than what people perceive. Decisions are clearly pre-mediated and made based on a balance of logic and passion.
“No” is their favourite word.
They say no a lot more than yes. They don’t agree to anything upfront to please people if they know they can't commit. Saying no to their peers for business ideas and social events frees up time to focus on the things they feel a “hell yes” on which ultimately get them closer to achieving their vision.
Decisions are made from authenticity over ego.
Powerful people make authentic decisions which are derived from conviction, passion and love. They recognize the right decision is the one in which fear or low self-esteem is not in control.
They have the courage to live a life true to themselves, not the life of what others expect of them. On their death beds they’ll have much less regrets than most.
Willing to lose.
Whether it be money, toxic relationships or a career. People willing to lose something can achieve better fits for them in the long run when they find their passion and maintain resilience through the difficult process of starting over.
Recognize what they have.
Everyone is born into uncontrollable circumstances. Life is not fair. Powerful people don’t complain about all the things that they don’t have but recognize and find solace in the things they do have. No matter how bad of a day, a powerful person will go to sleep knowing it can always be worse.
Live with little expectations.
The final key to power is having little expectations on life's outcomes and especially on people. Dropping expectations enables power to grow stronger as they are rarely let down.
You’re more powerful than you think.
Next time you’re out pay attention to your surroundings and listen to people when they speak. You’ll notice more people have power than you think.
In fact, you have a lot more power than you know. Work on removing a few blocks and start leveraging the inner baby boss you once were.