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Dispersing Power and Strengthening the Voices of Others

In this podcast, Kevin Hancock speaks to Human Capital Innovations host Jonathan H. Westover, PhD about his new book The Seventh Power: One CEO’s Journey Into the Business of Shared Leadership. They discuss how the work culture Kevin has fostered at Hancock Lumber has created an environment where every voice is heard, trusted, and respected. By doing so, this empowers the voices of others and creates a heightened level of employee engagement and job satisfaction. Kevin also talks about how this can be used in any community setting, and discusses how it would change the future to see more areas where everybody leads.

Click here to listen to the full podcast.

Here are a few highlights from the podcast (click here for the full transcription):

  • In nature, power is dispersed. That secret sauce, that sacred energy of the universe, actually lives in all its parts and pieces. And humans, w ho are apart of nature not separate from it, I believe ultimately want to organize in this way. And in the 21st century, in the query and age, I think this is where you see the disconnect. So people are awakening to their own sacred power as individuals. But institutions are still often locked in this past-based approach to leadership, which is about collecting power to the center, having a few speak for the many, and taking a bureaucratic approach to get things done. And while that model might have been the dominant model for centuries looking backward, I do not believe it’s going to be the dominant model going forward. (08:55-10:08)
  • So if work becomes a place where everyone can kind of self-actualize, can test their skills, can come to know their own identity and can feel safe doing so, then work starts to become a really important social tool, not just an economic tool. I’ve really, to take that one step further, come to think very differently about the mission or purpose of work. I think that the economic results are an important outcome. Outcome, of a higher calling. And I think that higher calling is that work should be meaningful to the people who do it. (13:36-14:28)
  • But I had a gentlemen show me one day when I was at Pine Ridge, that the center of the wheel, those who know the old ways, he told me, know that seventh power also exists. And that seventh power is you. It’s me. It’s the individual human spirit. Which is of nature, of the universe, of the sacred spirit. However you want to think about it. And that every individual is a piece of the divine. So the real task in social justice and in rethinking organizational excellence, is about giving away from the bureaucracy, getting away from the monolith, getting away from the empire, and putting the focus back on the individual and helping individuals understand and tap into their own power.(28:34-29:39)

Click here to download a PDF of the transcription.