I can still remember one college application question – "Would you rather be a powerful leader or a persuasive leader?" Recently, I was reminded of that question when I was helping coach someone who was struggling in her organization. She kept saying, "I just want a seat at the table." From what I could gather, it sounded like my friend had a seat, she just wasn’t sitting in it. Authority is a funny thing. Often we can spend a lot of time wishing we had the power simply to make something happen. The truth is that we would be better off investing our energy motivating others to make things happen. The times I have led the best are the moments where I felt as though I connected a need with someone’s gift or passion. I didn’t need to make demands or exert control, I just needed to create "a space in which the good seed can grow." Perhaps the real questions are, if you are a leader with power, could you lead without it? And, if you are persuasive, do you realize your true power and use it for good? I answered something to that effect in my college essay. I was waitlisted. Take that admissions office.