We delve into the concept of power to try to discover what it really means and how people across industries and social status interpret and define it.
Text by Francesca Cruz | June 20, 2018 | Lifestyle

Power: What is it? Foremost, we need to answer the inquiry: What does it mean to be powerful in present day? Is there a secret formula to becoming powerful? Power defined: The ability or capacity to influence or exercise control over others. But what does power mean to you? Finding answers for questions of this nature can be quite the conundrum, so to the experts we go.
Henry Kissinger coined the now adage: “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” In his day, names of the likes of Hearst, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and even Kennedy — families that combined wealth, affluence and style represented the mighty and powerful. But in our present society who are the powerful?
Some young kid sitting behind a computer in his or her sweatpants in some far off land, without a cent to his or her name, has the ability, through social media and the Internet, to access the collective psyche of the masses instigating an upheaval, or kick-starting a movement for better or worse that can have a massive ripple effect throughout the world.
Is that not power? And is it not at anyone’s disposal? Or is power more about Carlos Slim, currently the world’s richest man with a networth of $73.3 billion or Kim K., with her image plastered on a cornucopia of brands, media outlets and her mass following — including 16 million+ on Twitter.
Enter South Florida-based Entrepreneur, Developer & Philanthropist; Michael Capponi, who believes that role models today serve as a modern form of mythology. “If mythology teaches or sends the wrong messages, it’s dangerous to a society,” he says. “Power must be used properly and with the right intentions to improve humanity…those that misuse their power soon crash and burn.”
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist & Director of Beraja Counseling Center, Lisette N. Beraja, describes power as the ability to move particles, people, information and money. “For philanthropists, entrepreneurs and everyone in between, it’s important to send a message to society of the importance of giving back and creating jobs,” she says. “Using your power to benefit the community at large. That’s power.”
But what does it mean to have power? Is it about the amount of money an individual has acquired, the amount of prestige attained in their field, or the amount (amount the running theme here) of social media followers? With the relevance of overnight media darlings, thanks in part to YouTube, MTV, Bravo and other media outlets, the power of fame, however fleeting it may be, along with the movement toward further globalization, fall into play when tackling this topic.
VP of Corporate Banking Jack Conrad defines power as influence. “Through money, politics, media…money still drives influence,” he says. “Power is the ability to make things happen.” He concurs that within the financial circles in which he does business, it’s about numbers and results; and that influence and wealth are still the primary conduits to power, particularly if an individual has both. “Someone like Oprah has influence and financial power,” he says. “When someone like her says ‘buy this book’ people buy it.”
Tammi Leader Fuller Emmy Award-winning TV producer and Florida native, who now calls Los Angeles home, shares this: “I still believe the people we elect into power are the most powerful, but the entertainment gurus like Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell are quickly rising to find their place,” she says. “The media is certainly to blame for even allowing Kim Kardashian to be on the same radar screen as others. If she rus for Mayor of the heavily Armenian populated city of Glendale, California, there’s little doubt of her winning by a landslide. What does she know about running a city? If we’re not careful, the wrong people will continue to rise to power for all the wrong reasons.”
Mexican politician and economist, Felix Gonzalez Canto, often touted as the Partido Revolucionario Institucional’s future potential presidential candidate, responds that he believes that power is something borrowed. “When when you have it, it should be used for the better good, for transformation,” he says.
Colin Wright, Entrepreneur, Author of My Exile Lifestyle and full-time world traveling blogger believes that power is the ability to influence the world as you see fit. “With the advent of globalization and social media, that ability now takes different shapes than it once did,” he says. “In the past, it meant being very wealthy or coming from a good family with a strong traditional network. Today, it means having an opinion people care about and maintaining a reputation of taste — whatever that happens to mean within your sphere of influence.”
In the end, several things ring true on this topic: Power is more attainable to the everyday man or woman in present society than it has ever been in history. With power, comes a high level of responsibility and a need for regulation. And although mass media appeal and influence can help attain power, wealth is still a driving force…with the intention of goodwill and purpose serving as the lifeline to sustain it.
There’s also one very important secret ingredient that needs to be added to that mix. Perhaps Tammi Leader Fuller sums it up best: “Until we recognize that we are bigger than the fears that want to hold us back, we cannot move into positions of power,” she says. “It’s one big mind game revolving around confidence. If we don’t believe in the power of our convictions, how can we expect the people around us to follow our lead?”