How democracy (power-sharing) and authoritarianism (power-stealing and hoarding) function on an everyday level is actually quite simple, even though lots of folks have a stake in keeping it complicated.
Power-sharers are open, they turn toward others, they share accurate information, and they are transparent: their words connect directly to what they do in the world so everyone can see the connections. They support and nourish those around them, lifting them as they lift themselves. They create safe spaces where creativity and innovation thrive. They live democratically.
Power-stealers and hoarders are closed off; they turn away from others, stealing their power to connect and engage. They also steal power by offering inaccurate information intentionally, stealing others’ power to see and understand fully. Power-stealers’ words are often not connected in any identifiable way to their actions, and that lack of transparency steals power from others to know with whom they are connecting. Power-hoarders gain resources and stolen power, then lock out access to those who might participate and also benefit. They live as everyday authoritarians, undermining power-sharing practices and norms in our democratic country.
Try this today: as you move through your world, note the power-sharers in your world. And, who are the power-stealers? How do those different interactions affect your ability to confidently drive your forward momentum?