Edify or Power
Edify: Build, Construct. Install, Teach, Instruct; Improve.
Power: Greek = Dynamikos – Strength, Control, Mastery, Lordship, Dominion
This word Edify is almost always associated with relationships.
- Team Mates
When it comes to relationships, you should always be in the “Building Up” mode.
Another closely associated word is power. However, the root word for power is Dynamikos. This is the root word for dynamite. It’s tremendously powerful, but it’s designed to blow up, explode, and tear down.
Edify: build up.
Power: Tear down or blow up.
What’s going on in your team?
Often, while teams are in the room together there seems to be great camaraderie. But what happens outside the room? Do team members begin complaining about colleagues? Do they express doubt about motives or direction of action? Are they concerned members are not aligned with the team goals?
What do you do in that case? Do you continue to blow things up? Or, do you edify?
“No, you’re wrong. That person listened, participated, shared, was vulnerable, was open. They performed very honorably.”
Now that language,
- Begins to edify the other person.
- Starts changing the attitude within the corporation about that other person.
Agree to Disagree
At one company I was working with the CEO and leadership team down through the VP, Director and manager levels. I began to see what I would describe as an all-out war between two groups of people. It was being very disruptive, very costly, and there seemed to be no effort on either team’s part to reconcile the difference and come to an agreement that was going to advance the needs of the company.
As I began looking for the root of that division, it led upward. Right up to the executive team. It became clear that two members of the executive team totally disagreed on the approach to an issue. As I talked to each of them individually and confidentially, they explained their disagreement with the words “We have simply agreed to disagree.” On the surface, that seems very honorable.
“We’re not going to get into conflict, we’re not going to fight with each other. We know that we have a disagreement on this. We’re just going to calmly and politely agree to disagree.”
The cost of Power versus Edification
The cost of that disagreement would be almost impossible to calculate. It was costing that company a tremendous amount of money, creativity, human health, and focus.
The top team cannot agree to disagree! If you’re a part of the executive team, you’re there to reach agreement. Not just reach agreement on the simple stuff. Reach agreement on the things that are very difficult, that create huge dilemmas. You may have absolutely opposite beliefs and assumptions but it’s still your job to reach that agreement so that the corporation can move forward effectively.
Did those two leaders edify each other? No. They simply said to their organization:
So-and-so doesn’t agree. They think this is the wrong way to go. We’re not going to agree with that. We’re going to do our own thing.
United teams must reach an agreement of difficult issues with edification.
We do have some very different opinions here, but everyone has been honorable, direct, and vulnerable in where they are on this. Despite those different opinions, we have reached an agreement. Everyone is behind this and everyone is contributing their part.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Now we just eliminated huge frictional cost within the organization, simply because we used edification versus power.