Power is the Ability to Act to Achieve Goals
You want to use power appropriately, no matter what. The
Powerful Leader programs help you influence others with a calm, confident demeanor and concise language that focuses all minds on your expectation.
The Problem: Using None or Only One Power Style
Some people have a negative reaction to the word “power.” To them, it sounds like control or dominance.
I don’t think of power that way. I believe that a calm, confident leader wants to use his authority responsibly to influence others’ behavior in order to reach organizational goals.
Once a leader feels comfortable using power, it’s common, unfortunately, for the leader to habitually interact with everyone in the same way. I’m not talking about job equity. Of course, you should treat everyone fairly and equally.
I’m referring to your interaction style or how you motivate others toward action. A leader with only one influence style is like a painter with only one color. Your work is predictable, uninspiring and ineffective.
These leader quotes describe some of the most common one-hit wonder power styles. Which one of these quotes sounds most like your style?
- “I’m very participative. I want input from everyone on my staff even if they don’t feel comfortable giving it.”
- “I tell people what to do. That’s my job. My boss expects me to run the show and get results.”
- “I care more about my employees than their work. I’m always
available to help, even with their personal problems.”
- “I’m hands off. My people know what they're doing. They don’t want me meddling in their work.”
When a leader has only one of these influence styles, it’s like a parent treating all of her children the same way. It doesn’t make sense, and it’s unsafe. You wouldn’t hand the car keys to a five-year old. And, you wouldn’t insist on holding a teenager’s hand to help her cross the street.
Similarly, you shouldn’t treat everyone at work the same.
Instead of the one-size-fits-all mentality, recognize that your
direct reports, boss, peers and customers are all over the map in terms of how to best influence them.
What Leaders Want: To Use Power Appropriately
To be powerful and effective, be aware of your behavior and the results you get.
A Powerful Leader develops skills in self-management, communication, performance management, handling disagreements and achieving results.
Just like the leaders I’ve helped through the Mind to Lead retreats, you can:
- Hold people accountable for their commitments
- Maintain effective alliances with people, even those you don’t like, throughout the organization
- Allow people to vent or complain without letting them lose sight of solutions
- Adapt your leadership style to fit each person’s style and performance issues
- Point out a person’s resistance to a job expectation and help him/her resolve it
- Disagree without displaying defensive reactions
- Motivate your team/organization to achieve short-term results with long-term revenue sustainability
How Do You Get There?
A Powerful Leader uses Influence to transmit calm, confident ideas to others.
Since language is the way to get what you want, you must be
masterful at both of these influence strategies: Tell and Ask.
If you suspect that the other person is relatively able and willing to meet your performance expectation, then a simple Tell technique like a Laser message usually works.
If, however, the other person expresses moderate to high resistance, you need to acknowledge his concerns. The Tell tool called Facts & Feelings reflects the situation and his emotions back to him, so that he feels heard and can move into action.
It can be tricky trying to use the right amount of power without abusing it. It’s like keeping a campfire going at a steady burn without letting it rage or recede.
Think about power as the process of passing your ability to act over to another person. Pass your power on for positive results.
Don’t hoard power. Give it away, carefully.
Learn More about Calm, Confident Power
To learn more about what Calm, Confident Power is, check out: