ABSTRACT: The power differential and the power paradox are dynamically linked. The power differential is the enhanced amount of role power that accompanies any position of authority. The power paradox is the term given to the information emerging from research that shows that while we have inborn neurological connections for empathy and altruism, these natural impulses tend to degrade when we are in positions of power or rank. Our understanding of this energetic and behavioral link can empower us to stay on the right side of power. This article presents neurological and sociological research from both sides of this paradox and the author posits some factors that influence the misuses of role power. In support of this research, several theories of moral development and ethical intuition and judgment are examined. Two models of power, the traditional one—power as force, and an emerging one—power as applied social intelligence are described and compared. The author offers her view of 12 tenets of the right use of and influence linked to the four aspects of her power spiral. The author believes that changing our personal and collective expectations about right use of power to one that embodies social intelligence and links power with heart is truly ethics as soul work.
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