CM 088: Eric Liu on Your Hidden Power

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Blog Post - Liu and PowerfulWhen you hear the word power, what comes to mind? For most of us, we imagine power-hungry leaders or think of phrases like power corrupts. But when my guest, Eric Liu, considers power, he sees something different. He views power as a positive force. In fact, he believes it is a gift each of us can use to shape society.

At a time when many of us feel powerless, Eric offers a simple set of instructions for seizing power and using it to help shape our communities, our nation, and the world. He is Founder and CEO of the non-profit, Citizen University and author of the book, You’re More Powerful than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen. His TED Talk on citizen power and voting has been viewed over 2 million times.

In this interview we discuss:

  • How power is an important literacy
  • Why power is about who gets to decide
  • How power is a gift we are continuously giving away
  • How our citizenship endows us with unearned power and privilege that we should share with intention
  • Why we need to ask ourselves, to whom am I giving my power, my might, and my imagination?
  • The myth of rugged individualism in the face of game-changing collective action and collaboration we have seen across history
  • How we are part of a collective web of relationship, obligation, and mutual aid
  • The fact that power compounds as people with voice and connections amass it
  • The fact that power justifies itself as incumbents spin narratives to maintain it
  • The realization that many rely on intimidation and self-justifying narratives to maintain their power
  • How power is infinite as demonstrated by movements to push back and reinforce pockets of power
  • How we can reframe power by changing the game, the story, and the equation
  • The fact that we are all better off when we are all better off
  • The power of story in organizing for change — the story of self, the story of us, and the story of now
  • How a civic collaboratory taps into the shared need and wisdom of organizations to amplify their impact
  • How we are strong in our ideals of citizenship but weak in practicing them
  • Why citizenship is about power plus character – working on behalf of a greater good
  • How we accuse others in order to excuse ourselves
  • How taking responsibility sets in motion a cycle of responsibility that is contagious

Links to Topics Mentioned in this Podcast

@ericpliu

http://www.citizenuniversity.us/

The Power Paradox by Dacher Keltner

Nick Hanauer

Marshall Ganz

Jose Antonio Vargas

Bonds that Make Us Free by C Terry Warner

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Thank you to Emmy-award-winning Creative Director Vanida Vae for designing the Curious Minds logo, and thank you to Rob Mancabelli for all of his production expertise!

www.gayleallen.net

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