The Power of a Name

“Mummy said you have to!” “Daddy said I could!” Right from a very early age we learn the power invoked by a name. Just add two words to a sentence and suddenly it becomes a valuable quote and irrevocably true. The choice and order of those two words are critical. Two words like “Nelson Mandela”, “Barrack Obama”, “Oprah Winfrey,” “Dr Phil,” “Jesus Christ.”   Not every name has power, so whether at home or at work we quickly learn which names have power and which don’t. We quote the boss, the authority and the famous. We quote leaders.

Speakers and writers often quote the words of others because of the secret power behind their name. This can be pure magic, unless, and I’m sure you’ve seen it, a speaker quotes someone and everyone in the audience simultaneously thinks “Who???”

A few years ago I was a Very Important Person in Rangers, a kids ministry I love. I held the second highest rank in the state and was the boss of every state and district event. My name had power! I could say to any person “Go and tell them that ‘Gail Said…'” and it would be done, just as I ordained.

At that same time, if I used those same words at work “what a weirdo!” looks would be sent my way. If I tried it at home my housemates and cat would have totally ignored me. Why? Because I didn’t have the same level of leadership and authority as I did at Rangers.

While it’s cool to have that level of power in your name, the famous will tell you that you can be misquoted or your name can be misused. As leaders we need be aware that our name does carry some level of power. We need to use this power wisely and remember that there is a high level of responsibility that comes with it. Responsibility to act and speak with wisdom, integrity, and grace.

Question: Which leaders would you say use the power of their name wisely? Or very unwisely? Add your Comments below.

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3 thoughts on “The Power of a Name

  1. Pingback: Half Learnt Lesson « Gail's Angle

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