In Praise of Power

Saying, “I’m the boss,” indicates you’ve lost influence and resorted to intimidation.

Coercive power offends. But, power isn’t a dirty word, with it you get things done. Without power, nothing gets done. Power is the ability to change things.

Power and position often come together; higher position usually equals more power. Using power associated with position is the least desirable and most offensive use of power. Think of individuals who advance their own agenda at the expense of others.

It’s said that:

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Gaining power:

Power as influence is better than power associated with position. Influence doesn’t require position. Weak, disenfranchised people can have power.

Gain power – influence – by understanding others and advancing their goals.

  1. Power that corrupts is about getting.
  2. Power that influences is about giving.
  3. People in positions of power talk too much and listen too little.
  4. People with influence listen.
  5. Leaders with positional power want you to understand them.
  6. Leaders with influence understand you.

Influence is always given never taken.

Managers using positional power push down, limit, pressure, and coerce. They’ve lost influence so they resort to position.

Influencers lift, expand, inspire, and set free. Influencers invigorate. Vitality characterizes organizations led by influencers.

Get things done:

If influencers advance the goals of others, how do they get things done? They align goals, passions, values, vision, and mission.

Tell me what makes you tick and I can influence you.

Influence only works when alignment exists. You won’t influence everyone. Create teams who align with your passions and you create opportunities for influence as long as you focus on their goals. Their goals become shared goals.

What do leaders who rely on positional power do?

How can leaders gain influence without resorting to positional power?