What can we learn about power from Maya Angelou?

Maya Angelou

Here’s Terry Bacon’s response:

1. The value of versatility. “Throughout her life, Angelou has explored many facets of herself and has been able to integrate her perspectives to form a truly unique view of life and human experience. The lesson for business people: Don’t become too narrowly focused as you develop your knowledge and skills.

2. The value of introspection. “In her life and through her art, Angelou has taken a deep look inside herself, and with the honesty with which she communicates what she’s learned makes her insights potent and meaningful. Much of her power comes from being an authentic leader. The lesson? An important part of the knowledge you need as a leader is self-knowledge. Daniel Goleman considers it an essential part of emotional intelligence.”

3. The value of spirituality. “At the heart of Angelou’s life and work is a deep sense of connectedness with the world and other human beings. She communicates the spirituality of being without insisting that it be religious. The lesson for the rest of us: Business does not exist in a vacuum. Business operates in a sociocultural web. An important way of knowing is to appreciate the interconnection s between your company and its products, your customers and their customers, your suppliers and their suppliers, your mission and values and those of every other culture in which you operate, and your processes and by-products and our global environment and its sustainability.”

I highly recommend The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings as well as Bacon’s The Elements of Power, published by AMACOM (2011)

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Terry Bacon


Terry Bacon is President and CEO of Lore International Institute and a recognized expert in talent management, consulting, executive coaching, behavioral differentiation, and business development. He is a prolific author, having written or co-written more than eighty books, research reports, and white papers, including What People Want, Winning Behavior: What the Smartest, Most Successful Companies Do Differently, Adaptive Coaching, and The Behavioral Advantage. He cordially invites you to visit www.LoreNet.com.

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