Transformational Power, Valley-style

The most powerful weapon in the universe is transformational love

The most powerful act in the universe is creating happiness

Humble power — meekness — does not corrupt; it redeems.

Pastoral capitalism builds business via a yin/yang process of:

* Discipling Reality : Engineering/Operations
* Nurturing Community: Marketing/Sales
* Rewarding Character: Management/Human Resources
* Enforcing Humility: Board/Executives

[Read more] for the backstory of how all these fit together.

I had a dream a couple weeks ago. I was attending a sort of retreat for superheroes, which (as usual) turned out to be hosted by an evil genius. He had started mind-controlling heroes (batman, superman), so I had to race to the basement to grab Green Lantern‘s ring — the only weapon powerful enough to stop/save them.

It was an unusual metaphor for me, notwithstanding my fondness for superheroes. Like most geeks, I tend towards a Tolkien-esque mythology where concentrated power is evil. We assume that those who want power are automatically disqualified from wielding it. Thus, we tend to shun positions of direct power and authority, preferring to be counselors and technicians rather than managers and executives.

It is only this week that I finally put the pieces together, as I was contemplating the next stage of my career. I suddenly realized I needed power in order to accomplish the good I wanted to do: to serve, protect, and empower others. That ultimately power is the ability to create happiness.

In other words, he “most powerful weapon in the known universe” is not Green Lantern’s ring — it is transformational love. And it is not power itself that is evil, it is power unsubmitted to God’s power, wisdom and love — that is, power that seek itself. Godly power, on the other hand, accomplishes His purposes, and is justly to be desired.

To be sure, power can corrupt, but only when it is not submitted. Authentic power is nurtured by giving it away to those under your authority. That is the beauty of Silicon Valley for me — it provides a peer group to whom I can legitimately submit my power even as I serve them.

Out of all this, I have finally discovered my calling: to pastor Silicon Valley. Not from the outside as a professional minister, but from the inside as a technologist. In particular, I believe that the technology trends that are reshaping Silicon Valley :

* XML and web services
* Moore’s Law plateau
* Non-traditional developers (e.g., scripters)
require a fundamental change in the mindset and skillset of traditional geeks. We must become more relational, humble, spiritual and whole — simply in order to keep our jobs! In other words, short-term necessity and long-term value are becoming increasingly aligned, and my calling is to help snap that into place, and empower/mentor those who desire that transformation.

Wish me luck. Geeksville, I’m coming home!