It's important to distinguish how you associate power. By definition power is the ability to control or rule people and things. However, power best defined is the ability to get things accomplished by leading others to be successful. This is the type of power that changes lives.
Relationships are one of the, if not the most essential, ways to gain power. The partnerships we build with people can make or break us. Two reasons why leaders promote people are: 1.) they know and believe they can trust you to either carry out the duties at hand, and/or 2.) they know you will support their leadership no matter what. I have found through experience and observation that in most organizational settings, those in leadership positions who promote and extend power to those they can trust to carry out duties responsibily because they prioritize innovation, ability, and talent as important traits- are the ones that usually succeed in transforming their organizations.
Be careful of the reputation you build with others. If you build the type of relationship that is based mostly on "like" versus ability- you may gain power through promotion and position- but you will eventually be exposed if your ability does not meet the needs of the position. Apathy and laziness are not qualities that can be hidden for long.
Power is worthy if it inspires and motivates others. If your motives are to gain solely for yourself, then the relationships you have with others will likely fail. Relationships can change your life; select and build them with care.