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Starting with Agency

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

In our Podcast next week we start our leadership journey by digging into the origin of our founding concept, Agency. Most people think about Agency in relation to an organization acting on their behalf, e.g., an Advertising, a Marketing, a Real Estate agency. Not us.

We use the term Agency as an expression of self. This pulls from one of the meanings of the word, which refers to the exertion of power, acting with power or simply having the power to make your own free choices. And while that resonates with us here at The Agency Initiative, we believe that Agency is much more nuanced than simply having or exerting power.

But, let’s start with power. It is major component of Agency. It’s complex, but it’s necessary to understand as we dig deeper into Agency. We have to understand power dynamics to better understand a person’s ability to act with Agency. And we started by asking ourselves, “What is power? Who has power? Where does a person get their power? How does someone exercise power? What are the things that get in the way of someone acting with power?” We dig deeper into these questions and more in the podcast.

From our viewpoint, understanding power and the dynamics surrounding it starts with an understanding of yourself: who you are, what is important to you and how you respond to the world around you. Working through these questions is a major part of a leader’s journey toward harnessing their own power and taking a step toward leading with agency.

When we worked through these questions it helped us land on our definition of agency. Here is where we landed:

  • Agency is values-based decision making in the moments that matter.

Values-based because we want leaders to commit to acting based on their personal values and living an authentic and meaningful life. In our experience, power comes from living our values in an authentic and meaningful way.

Power is only one inherent part of agency. Unpacking our own experiences also led to discovery of other components or contributing factors to a person’s ability to exercise agency- authenticity, courage, privilege, influence, freedom, intentionality, environment. We will dig into each of those as our leadership journey continues.

In her signature keynote speech Kristen shared her stories of coming to terms with each of the preceding concepts, often tackling in real time over the course of her life.

This is where the power of storytelling comes in and why Kristen’s message of courage, authenticity and intentional decision making resonated with so many in the audience. It brings the moments that matter to life. Keynote speaking is an essential component of our product offerings as it introduces these ideas in a setting that captivates and inspires audiences to action.

Check out our next episode of the Agency Unlocked series titled “Starting with Agency” to learn more about getting started with Agency and unlocking the connection between power and values-based decision making.


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