What are The 10 Powers of Leadership? – Part 4

This post is the second in a series that shares the The10 Powers of Leadership delivered by Jill Geisler in the commencement address to the 2012 graduates of Duquesne University’s School of Leadership and Professional Advancement.

8. The Power of Apology:

Power of apologyWhen they make a mistake, true leaders put taking personal responsibility above saving face. They step up and fess up. Not with squishy passive voice: “Mistakes were made…” With bold active voice: “I let you down.” Not the weasly conditional: “If anyone was offended…” but with the bold and definitive: “I was wrong.” A sincere, specific apology can not only can heal injury, it can raise credibility and build trust. Apology is a hallmark of integrity.

  • How easily do you forgive yourself?
  • What mistakes do you seemingly hold on to and revisit?
  • What would it take for you to forgive yourself as well as others?

9. The Power of Choice:

SuccessYou’ve been patient with me through eight powers now, as I took the liberty of imposing my list on you. But you have equally, if not better, thoughts about the power you’d most like to have. And everything we know about motivation says autonomy – the power to choose — is a potent intrinsic motivator.  We are most likely to embrace solutions and ideas of our own creation.

So I pause now, before I get to number 10, to invite you to create your personal number nine. I’ll be quiet for a few moments as you choose your preferred power. When you’ve got it, please stand up and stay standing. I’ll wait.

10. The Power of Love:

Power of LoveI was tempted to make number 10 the power of inspiration. But on reflection, I chose the power of love. You see, at the root of all inspiration you find love. Love of country, or of faith or of nature or of one’s vocation, love of people who are dear to us. To inspire is simply to put a beautiful frame around that love so it is on display for all to share. And
that’s how I want to leave you today – framed in love. There are people who would have treasured being with you today, but could not be. Pause again for a moment, close your eyes if you’d like, and see their faces. Feel their love.


  • What action can you take today, right now, to demonstrate to other your appreciation for the contribution they make to your life?


Megaphone image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
“Success” image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
“Love” image courtesy of samuiblue / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Author: Susan Bock

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