Potential = Unlocked and unleashed performance and power.
Power = The resources and resourcefulness of an individual’s reach to influence and impact society, systems and spheres of influence.
Platform = The attainment of power and influence that exceeds the individual. Platform includes the systems and structures in, upon and through which a powerful individual has exceeded the scope and sphere of reach and influence attained by the majority.
In a previous post, I explore goals, growth and gains. In this post I will explore the phenomena of potential, power and platform.
Resources are obtained through both inheritance and reward. Every person inherits some measure of power. For example, I am 5’9″ and weigh about 155 lbs. I am the average size for a male in my society. I did not inherit genetics that would gift me greater potential to play basketball in the NBA. Now, I could arguably have played in the NBA based on my speed, agility and athletic gifting.
Consider Muggsy Bogues. Bogues was only 5’3″! He is still the shortest player to have ever played in the NBA. I have half a foot of stature on him! What drove Bogues was a combination of his own internal belief, supportive environments and opportunities along the way. This article showcases that there were “unbelievers” and antagonists to his potential along the way.
While I have half a foot of stature on Bogues, that would be a flaw in measuring potential for NBA success. Why? Because it was Bogues short stature that allowed him the advantageous ball handling. It was the very perceived weakness of Bogue’s short stature that was his super power!
Human potential is both individually and collectively oppressed and suppressed by prejudicial powers. Human potential is both individually and collectively supported by supportive powers.
Bogues was an exception to a normal criteria for NBA success. Throughout Bogues life he was met with both supportive and prejudicial, oppressive and suppressing powers.
If Bogues was prejudged by his height alone, then we would not have the gift of his talent in the NBA. Even when Bogues was in the NBA he was met with prejudiced, close minded and weak minded management systems and structures that did not know how to strategically place his power.
If human progress is measured by the past alone, then human potential goes untapped. If human progress is measured by supportive systems supporting individuals in their unique potentials, then?
A platform of power is a combination of the narrative identity, ideology and supporting systems and structures in which an individual and groups of individuals collectively buy and bargain for more.
What is narrative identity? Narrative identity is the power of one’s past. Bogue’s gained platform power as a Coach in the WNBA, in part, because of the power of his past. Bogue’s identity as the triumphant, resilient exception to the rule and his institutional credentials and network in the NBA opened the doors for his success in real estate and in the WNBA.
Prejudice works positively for the advantaged normative. Prejudice may work positively in favor of the disadvantaged. Bogue’s did not allow his other’s lack of belief that he could be a star player prohibit his progress and potential. Along the way Bogue’s got a few breaks and landed in supportive systems and structures. One pivotal turn was when he changed High Schools. Others were when he changed teams in the NBA.
You see, powers either oppress and suppress potential, or they support and unlock potential.