When you hear the term “power play,” you think of something evil.
But a power play can mean lots of things.
In hockey, a team is on a power play when it is on the ice with a man advantage, after a player on the other team is penalized. The penalized player must sit out for a period of time. The team keeps the power play until the penalty is over, or it scores, whichever comes first.
The power plays we most often think of are when a person gains a slight advantage, and exploits it to the detriment of others. Perhaps you may have known someone who, say, got a promotion and becomes your boss. He or she then has a different relationship with you, and may use it to your disadvantage.
In May 2014, Russia made a power play by disrupting neighboring Ukraine. It used the ethnic Russian population of Ukraine to attempt to take over parts, or, eventually, all of the country. Much of the world has condemned the action and is helping Ukraine fight off this Russian power play.
But what if power plays were gentle, and hurt no one. In fact, what if power plays helped all that witnessed them?
As we’ve discussed before, what if we could use power to empower?
When that occurs, we have to learn not to fear the power play. Once we get past the fear of the power play, we can then embrace it. Once we embrace it, we can perform it on others, who could then ultimately embrace it and do the same.
Everyone would like to have power. The challenge becomes once gaining power, how one uses it. Will it be used for the good, or for evil?
The fear of power often discourages people from seeking it. Therefore, they can become victims of those who gain it.
No matter how much good one can do with power, he may always have naysayers and others who will criticize him because of his power. The benevolent dictator is rare.
We, as individuals, have to learn NOT to fear power. We have to learn how to gain power, even in small ways. We have to learn, once gaining power, how to use it to help others.
Though we talk of power plays, power is not play. It is used for good and evil. It must be used responsibly. It must be used for the benefit of others, not to the detriment of others.
Want to gain power to help others? Visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. If you like what you see, you will learn the art of the gentle power play. You will learn that helping others IS power.
Though evil power is feared, don’t fear gaining power. Power, in the hands of good people, is good for the world. Therefore, when you invited to empower yourself, don’t RSVP with regret. Go for it with enthusiasm.
Seek the gentle, benevolent power play. Let others do it to you, so you can do it to others. It will put an entirely new spin on the Golden Rule. And, ultimately, you, and those who follow you, will rule!


It started in the 1960s.
Young people wanting something better than – or, at least, different from – what their parents had and cherished.
Some 1960s protests turned violent. Today, in countries all over the world, the protests are very violent. The police and military in many countries are turning on their own people – largely young people – for trying to change the status quo.
Reporters David Kirkpatrick and Mayy El Sheikh discussed the chasm between young and old in Egypt, which has already overthrown its longtime dictator. But in that country, the “new” government hasn’t given them what they want.
The reporters’ story was published in the Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, edition of The New York Times.
We see it in countries all over the world – Syria, Ukraine etc. Young people want more freedom. Young people want to be who they really are – not who their parents or other elders want them to be.
If you are young today, the world is very different from that in which your parents grew up. Jobs are scarce. Employers are reorganizing every five minutes. So, even if you are lucky enough to land a good job, you can’t expect it to last.
Your parents may not understand you. They want what’s best for you, but may not have a clue what that is. All they have to go on is what was best for THEM.
If you are older, you shake your head at the younger generation. After all, your “dream” was a secure job with benefits, some advancement potential and a pension when you retired. If you got that far and achieved that: congratulations. But those younger than you may never see that. They will really have to be diligent to have financial security when they are your age.
Yes, the world is an ocean liner. It is certainly not a cruise ship, but in many cases it turns just as slowly. Make no mistake, though. It is turning. Perhaps it is not turning as quickly as the younger people want, but it is turning. When it turns, it will go in a very different direction.
Companies and employers have experts watching the ship, and trying to determine which direction it will go. Unlike the world of the past, this world will be turning constantly, as innovation in communication, manufacturing and technology evolve, and re-evolve.
Innovation, combined with education, give young people the courage to be who they are, not who their parents or elders want them to be. They have different, and more modern, ideas about how to live. In their minds, if they are going to survive, they have to fight for what they believe in. They have to fight for the freedom to be what they want to be.
In a changing world, we – young and older – need to have a Plan B. If the world changes in a way we don’t like, we need something that will give us the security to be who we are, and want to be. We need something that will allow us the freedom to not be dependent on an ever-changing employment situation. There are many ways to accomplish this. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
Meanwhile, fight to be who you are in an ever-changing world. At the same time, let others be who they are, as long as they mean you no harm. Throughout the world, give the young people the freedom they so crave. With freedom comes innovation. Innovation will come, whether we want it to or not. So let people innovate.
If you are older, you must realize that change isn’t all bad. If you are younger, remember that your elders are fighting to keep what is dear to them. When young and old understand each other, the world will be more peaceful and prosperous for all. As Paul McCartney’s mother told him years ago, “Let It Be.”