From the aging perspective, there are three basic sources of power:

Personal power is based on self-confidence, and emotional strength and experience acquired throughout your life.

Reasoning Power is based on one’s ability to see things from all sides and to make decision-based on sound advise or evidence.

Emotional Power is self-expression, and a natural desire for meaning and one’s personal feeling of relevance that provides the power in their environment.

Getting older has some feeling as though they are losing their power, especially when for most of of their lives their power came from without rather than from in.

Most senior women spent their lives looking after others and doing their bidding.  Even if they worked outside the home they held no real power. Those who did  were rare and often felt like outsiders. 

Today things are thankfully very different. Certainly older women are still a minority with respect hold positions of power in large companies.

Those changes hold hope for older men and women  on the cusp of those changes.

We are stronger, healthier, more active and most importantly MORE ENGAGED. And if you are not then you need to get engaged.  You have the power, but you need to take control of it. Why? Because gone are the days when you can sit around waiting for someone to come save you.  It is not the same as when families stayed, work, and lived close to the places they grew up in.  They could be on your doorstep in heartbeat if you needed them.  That is no longer the case for most families. Not only has the business environment become global, most family’s have members who  also live and work somewhere else in world. There was a time when being transient was a bad thing, now it is the norm if you want to get anywhere in business.  You and your kids need to be willing to take on a position anywhere at anytime if trying to grow a career.

So what does this have to do with power and aging?

Actually quite a lot.  At the beginning of this article we talked about three types of power.

Personal, Reasoning and Emotional.

Here is what each of these mean and how they are directly relate to how you age.


If you were to look it up on the internet you would read it is a source of influence and authority a person has over his or her followers.
But that is not the kind of personal power we are referring to here. Nor is it the particular type of personal power you need as you get older.
The personal power you need is the power and influence you have over yourself. Your power to push yourself to do things you didn’t think you could. The power to take that extra step required in order to live your life your way. The power to rely not on others help, but to rely on yourself.


 This is the power that most senior are said to lack. Especially if that senior has a strong opinion on many things. Those opinions often have other perceiving the older person as being unreasonable.
The key to managing that perceptions is to ensure that when taking a position on something is to use your personal power to demonstrate the process by which you reach a conclusion and to have others recognize that you have done so after thinking about all the facts.


People are considered to have this power when they can make their emotions connect to their other powers and use  certain emotion to control it. Emotions fuel the powers and that can benefit them when  used to  strengthened and utilized the other two types of power.