It should go without saying — but we are going to say it anyway — that TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)™ is about empowering self and others to be more creative, resourceful, innovative and resilient.

But what does it really mean to cultivate “power” in our lives? In our experience, there are three primary types of power, two of which are consistent with the principles in TED*.

The first type is power over. It is what many in the world seek after and assume is the “holy grail” of having supremacy and authority over others. It seeks to be in control, to be “one up” and to be able to tell people what to do or to be able to make things happen.

This type of power produces or perpetuates the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™, primarily through the role of Persecutor. Having power over others tends to victimize those over whom one seemingly either has control or seeks to control. The Rescuer also attempts to exert power over a situation when they insert themselves into situations that are none of their business. When Rescuers offer a number of great ideas in the name of being helpful, they are driven by their unconscious need to change—or have power over—-a situation or person.

Having power over others tends to victimize those over whom one seemingly has control or seeks to control. The problem with this kind of power is that others compete for it and one must constantly be on guard to protect it and to expand it.

When we adopt a Creator Orientation, we tap into the power to, which is the second type. This is the power to create outcomes, to influence others without having to lord over them, and to choose our response to what shows up in our lives. We embrace and develop our capacity as a Creator and begin to open doors to relationships, with ourselves and others that are rooted in TED*.

In order to really create, though, we must also develop our capability to work with others. It is often said that we never create anything solely by ourselves. Even the painter who paints the picture depends on the maker of the canvas and paints. Creating is always a collaborative experience.

Here we enter into the third type of power: power with. We collaborate with others to co-create outcomes. We fully cultivate and grow the TED* roles of Creator, Challenger and Coach. At times we may enroll others into our own envisioned outcomes. Other times we may join and support others as they go after what has heart and meaning in their work and lives.

Being a Creator in, and of, your life means claiming and embracing your power – your power to create and co-create. As you leave behind your need to have “power over” you will develop and harness your “power to” and “power with.” In doing so, you will find yourself and others truly becoming more resourceful, more innovative and more resilient.

Progression of Power. Power Over: seeks to control. Power to: Seeks to Create. Power with: sees others as equals.