Did you know it’s our anniversary?

Yes, five years ago this month, I started A User’s Guide to Power, with this inaugural post on power, democracy and leadership.

A lot has changed since 2008. Five “internet years” feels more like ten in the real world. For perspective, back when this blog launched…

  • There was no iPhone
  • Facebook had just started to become available to users outside of universities and high schools
  • Twitter was just out of beta (and most people didn’t know what it was)
  • Hillary Clinton was ahead of Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary

Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it?

Over time, though not as rapidly, my focus on power has similarly changed. As that initial post shows, I began A User’s Guide to Power intending to write about the problems of power and leadership through a lens of democracy. I am indeed still interested in the topic, and its implications: to self-govern is a psychological and much as a political issue.

But over time, my thinking has extended to leadership, learning and change, and specifically, how we think and feel and how that affects our use of power. The ways we use power are closely linked to our behavior in general: power is simply one’s personality filtered through a high power role, and we seem to be consistent across roles.

And yet, there is also a distinct and noticeable effect high power roles have on us. Power really does influence our thoughts, behavior and attitude. This interplay between personality and power seems most interesting to me as of late.

That’s my perspective, but I’m interested in what draws you here. What topics interest you most? What draws you to comment?

Looking back over these five years, I’m most happy about the community of readers who have come and gone, and hung around. A big thanks to you who regularly read and post and create a deep and thoughtful conversation on these issues. And thanks to you, as well, the occasional reader who stumbles upon this site. Whether you visit regularly or not, post comments or not, the knowledge that occasionally someone shares an interest in these topics, and stops by to have a look is enough to keep me writing!

I’d love to know more about you – what brings you here, what you like, what you’d like to see more – or less – of. Please take a couple minutes and fill out this survey. As I make change to my website and blog over the next few months, your feedback will help dictate what this spaces looks like, and the topics I write about.


And happy anniversary!