If you’ve been reading my blog, or following me on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn,  you know that I think about about power. A lot. While it’s easy to identify failures of leadership and abuse of power, do we know, and can we define, what healthy and effective use of power is?

How leaders use their power and whether they can effectively manage the authority of their role is one of the most critical factors in the success of any endeavor, of every organization, and of the well-being of a nation. And it’s not only a question for leaders. We all use power, even if just a tiny bit, daily. Power dynamics and hierarchies exist in workplaces, communities, families, and friendship groups. Power exists in every group of people, with and without formalized hierarchy or rank structures

Power is also a public display. How people use power in public shapes the public discourse about power. And this is nowhere more apparent than during a presidential election year. How do the candidates use their power, and how does that influence our view of power?

That’s not just a rhetorical question!  Over the past year, I’ve been working with a team of fellow researchers on power—psychologists, academics, leadership consultants and coaches–to look into these questions of power and to discover and define the behaviors that comprise the healthy and responsible use of power.

Have a look at our site, Power In The Public Eye, and even more importantly, take our poll to help define good uses of power. Society’s use of power is influenced by how leaders use power, and the reverse is true as well; leader’s use of power is influenced by public perception.

Who uses power, and how, are essential questions at the core of democracy’s future. Power in the Public Eye aims to shed light on the use and misuse of power and by so doing, take part in the shaping of our democratic future.

Help shape the conversation, and take part in this important topic of power. Vote now on how presidential candidates use their power: http://powerinthepubliceye.org/. Thank you!