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Master the Principles of Four Arenas of Positive Power

Master the Principles of Four Arenas of Positive Power

Interpersonal influence (also identified as social influence) has transpired when the actions of one or more individuals influence the attitudes or behaviors of one or more other individuals. Relationships prosper or decline in relation to how well the partakers harmonize with one another about important decisions. Some agreements just fortuitously happen, but many of them are the result of the participants influencing one another. Recognizing the principles explained below will make one a better practitioner of influence and also more aware of how one is being influenced.

Successful managers apply each of these principles within four arenas:

  • Personal power. Managers must access the untapped capacity we, individually, have for personal power. Integrating our intellectual, emotional, and physical energies, the arena of personal power, is the groundwork.
  • Interpersonal influence. We can’t achieve organizational goals alone, regardless of how much personal power we have. Personal power does, however, enable us to achieve interpersonal influence. Influence is the impact we have on others simply because we are part of the same system. Such influence is too often undefined and undirected. Interpersonal influence connotes a specific focus of impact; that is, our ability to support others to willingly use their energy on behalf of our goals in ways that get rid of power struggles that waste energy. Instead, the focus is on improving the quality of our relationships to enhance interpersonal influence. This type of influence is pervasive and is necessary for survival. To not take cues from others would be to ignore much of the information that is available about the world.
  • Team synergy. A group is formed anytime people come together to accomplish something. We may call them departments, divisions, work units, teams, task forces, or committees. Meetings are a group activity. Groups must be turned into a source meaningful power. Team synergy, the most potent manifestation of group power, exists when the whole generates more power than the sum of its parts. Turning groups into high-performing, synergetic teams requires creating safe, conflict-competent, empowering groups that learn from differences and make good decisions. Teamwork has always been recognized as the backbone of leadership, but the stresses that team members now are experiencing might be one of the biggest challenges we will need to overcome to continue to think that way. Efficiency, cost-effectiveness, new technology and procedures, and multiple shifts in job responsibilities are permeating our environments during a time when teams are strained and sometimes broken.
  • 'The Infinite Organization' by Michael F. Broom (ISBN 0891061681) The infinite organization. The payoff occurs in final arena, The Infinite Organization. In this arena our skills of personal power, interpersonal influence, and team synergy are applied in three areas: leadership and the executive team, structures and policies, and management practices that have created the benefits of the infinite perspective of power and its related principles. The synergy that allows an organization to give information and material and to add value through processes that they each offer is a unique quality. The resulting outcome is far greater than one that any individual could offer independently.

With these tools, managers can create the positive and self-sustaining culture that characterizes an infinite organization. When all three areas are fully developed, aligned, and congruent, the focus, energy, and success of The Infinite Organization will be evident.

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Posted in Management and Leadership Mental Models and Psychology

50 Inspirational Quotes for Mothers’ Day

50 Inspirational Quotes for Mothers' Day

  • A Jewish proverb says, “God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.”
  • John Erskine said, “Woman in the home has not yet lost her dignity, in spite of Mother’s Day, with its offensive implication that our love needs an annual nudging, like our enthusiasm for the battle of Bunker Hill.”
  • Golda Meir said, “At work, you think of the children you have left at home. At home, you think of the work you’ve left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself. Your heart is rent.”
  • Sam Levenson said, “Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your children.”
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis said, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.”
  • Abraham Lincoln said, “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”
  • Gregory Nunn said, “Anyone who doesn’t miss the past never had a mother.”
  • Tenneva Jordan said, “A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”
  • James Joyce said, “Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother’s love is not.”
  • Germaine Greer said, “All that remains to the mother in modern consumer society is the role of scapegoat; psychoanalysis uses huge amounts of money and time to persuade analysis and to foist their problems on to the absent mother, who has no opportunity to utter a word in her own defense. Hostility to the mother in our societies is an index of mental health.”
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher said, “A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.”
  • Barbara Kingsolver said, “It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn’t.”
  • Chinese Proverb says, “There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.”
  • Peter De Vries said, “A suburban mother’s role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.”
  • Mildred B. Vermont said, “Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs… since the payment is pure love.”
  • William Feather said, “Setting a good example for your children takes all the fun out of middle age.”
  • Helen Hunt Jackson said, “Motherhood is priced; Of God, at price no man may dare/To lessen or misunderstand.”
  • Aristotle said, “Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own.”
  • Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to Sophia: “I love everything about you. I love that you want to wear jeans under a bridesmaid dress. I love that you are competitive yet kind. I love that you have friendships that will last a lifetime, and one day I hope you count me as one. Your independence shines through everything. And even though I am biased, I believe you will be a leader. Your life is just getting started. I am so excited to see where you go and what you do. I hope when you read this letter, you don’t turn your nose up and think it’s too sappy. I know I embarrass you all too frequently these days. But know it’s because I am so proud you are my daughter.”
  • Elizabeth Stone said, “Making a decision to have a child–it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
  • Florida Scott-Maxwell said, “No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.”
  • Henry Ward Beecher said, “We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves.”
  • Lin Yutang said, “Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.”
  • Rajneesh said, “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”
  • Sophia Loren said, “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”
  • Ezekiel 16:4 says, “As is the mother, so is her daughter.”
  • James Fenton said, “The lullaby is the spell whereby the mother attempts to transform herself back from an ogre to a saint.”
  • Businesswoman and Philanthropist Ivanka Trump to Arabella, Joseph and Theodore: “Arabella, when I started my company I thought of you. I considered the opportunities available to women in my generation, and I knew that I had a role to play in continuing to push the needle further. … There will be lots of things I’ll teach you in the years to come-some you’ll remember, some you’ll dismiss. But I hope that in my leading by example, you’ll each make your own decisions and chart your own course. Take nothing for granted. Know that in life, the harder you work, the luckier you’ll get.”
  • Ali Wentworth (writer, comedian, and wife of ABC News’George Stephanopoulos) to Elliott and Harper: “You were born with determination, fierceness and the kind of inner strength that moves mountains. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t. People say, “Carpe diem.” But I say, don’t seize only the day, seize the life-“Carpe vitam!”
  • Elaine Heffner said, “Women do not have to sacrifice personhood if they are mothers. They do not have to sacrifice motherhood in order to be persons. Liberation was meant to expand women’s opportunities, not to limit them. The self-esteem that has been found in new pursuits can also be found in mothering.”
  • Oscar Wilde said, “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.”
  • Actor and film historian Debbie Reynolds to Carrie and Todd: “our life continues to be a terrific adventure. You make me proud on Mother’s Day and every other day. I love you more than words can ever say.”
  • An unknown author said, “All mothers are working mothers.”
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh said, “By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class.”
  • Henry Ward Beecher said, “The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.”
  • Lawrence Housman said, “If nature had arranged that husbands and wives should have children alternatively, there would never be more than three in a family.”
  • Henry Bickersteth said, “If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam.”
  • T. DeWitt Talmage said, “Mother – that was the bank where we deposited all our hurts and worries.”
  • Zora Neale Hurston said, “Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at de sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.”
  • Pop singer Britney Spears to Jayden and Preston ‘God always comes to us in tiny whispers. I pray you always find his whisper and follow your inner voice as well.”
  • Retired professional boxer Laila Ali to Sydney and Curtis: “i love you when you win, i love you when you lose.i love you no matter what, because you can’t make mommy stop loving you.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Men are what their mothers made them.”
  • Nancy Thayer said, “Who is getting more pleasure from this rocking, the baby or me?”
  • Betty Rollin said, “Biological possibility and desire are not the same as biological need. Women have childbearing equipment. For them to choose not to use the equipment is no more blocking what is instinctive than it is for a man who, muscles or no, chooses not to be a weightlifter.”
  • Jill Bennett said, “Never marry a man who hates his mother, because he’ll end up hating you.”
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe said, “Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.”
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men – from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms.”
  • Spanish Proverb said, “An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest.”
  • James Russell Lowell said, “That best academy, a mother’s knee.”
  • Honore de Balzac said, “The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.”
  • W. Somerset Maugham said, “Few misfortunes can befall a boy which brings worse consequences than to have a really affectionate mother.”

The Tao of Gratitude to a Mother

'The Taoism Reader' by Thomas Cleary (ISBN 1590309502) Per Thomas Cleary’s handy The Taoism Reader, Lu Yen, more commonly known as Ancestor Lu, who lived during the Tang Dynasty, reminds that one cannot thank one’s mother enough:

A woman carries a child in the womb for ten months, then gives birth in pain. Breast-feeding for three years, she watches over the infant with great care, aware of when it is sick, in pain, uncomfortable, itching. Whatever she does, even when she is not there, she always thinks of the baby. She is happy when she sees it laugh and worries when it cries. Seeing it stand and walk, she is at once anxious and exhilarated. She will go hungry to feed the child, she will freeze to clothe it. She watches, worries, and works, all for the child’s future. How can one ever repay the debt one owes to one’s mother?

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

Platonic Love

Platonic Love

Platonic love is the type of love between two people that transcends obsessive physicality.

Platonic love as it is understood today is a love between two people that is chaste, affectionate, but free of intimacy and sexual desire.

The term has its roots with the Greek philosopher Plato (c. 424-c. 348 BCE), who used it in his philosophical text The Symposium, written in c. 360 BCE. In the text, Plato dissects a series of speeches made by men at a drinking party, or symposium, held in the Athenian household of the poet Agathon. The speeches, expressed in the form of a dramatic dialogue, are written “in praise of love,” and those invited to speak include an aristocrat, a legal expert, a physician, a comic playwright, a statesman, Plato himself in the roles of both host and tragic poet, and Socrates (c. 470-399 BCE), Plato’s own teacher and one of the founders of Western philosophical thought.

It is Socrates’s speech that has since been interpreted as introducing the concept of platonic love. Socrates condemns the sort of love that sees a man and a woman obsess over the physical act of love (eras in Greek) to the detriment of the pursuit of higher ideals in philosophy, art, and science. He speaks of the ideas of a prophetess and philosopher, Diotima of Mantinea, for whom love is a vehicle through which we can contemplate the divine and possess what she calls the “good.” According to Diotima—here “teaching” with Socrates in the role of “naive examinee”—a physically beautiful person should inspire us to seek spiritual things. Her idea of love does not exclude the possibility of physical love, however; the idea that platonic love should exclude physical love altogether is a later, and quite inaccurate, Western construct.

Thomas Hardy said in Jude the Obscure (1895): “We ought to have lived in mental communion, and no more.”

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

How to Lead A Life of Integrity

How to Lead A Life of Integrity

Living a whole life means doing things in a way that is consistent with our values and vision—standing firm on tough issues and making difficult choices. Here are four ways to achieve integrity and become a Trust Me leader.

  • Gain a firm understanding of the principles that guide your life. And have confidence in those principles to instill and build integrity. Bold acts issue from an unshakable assurance. Know the values and principles that drive your behavior. Only then will you have the confidence to act boldly in spite of peer pressures or prevailing opinions.
  • Act boldly when faced with compromising decisions and actions. You will have no fear when you are founded on values and driven by a deep need to maintain a life of integrity and trust.
  • Approach all you do with a joyful, positive, uplifting mindset. The pursuit of integrity requires what is best and noble in your character. You can’t afford the polluting influence of a negative outlook. Stay focused on the positive. Be true to your vision and values. When you are one person in the mirror and another person to employees, doubt will overshadow your attitude and your performance.
  • Balance competence with character. Trustworthiness is based on both character (what you are) and competence (how well you do what you do.) You may have one quality and not the other. But when integrity is the cornerstone of your character and competence is clear, you will be a leader people can trust.

Building trust takes time. We can inspire trust through our integrity, but years of baggage associated with us or our leadership style can slow the process. Patience is necessary as we seek the trust of others.

Integrity, with the trust it creates, is a leader’s most valuable asset. It is difficult to build a company without it.

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How to Recapture Trust and Have People Follow You

How to Recapture Trust and Have People Follow You

Somewhere, in some company, a CEO does something to violate the trust of employees, stockholders, and the public daily. As a result, now seven in 10 people distrust CEOs. Eight in 10 are convinced these top executives would take “improper actions to help themselves at the expense of their companies. In recent months, the percentage of people who perceive big business as a threat to the nation’s future has doubled to 38 percent.

The lack of trust originates from leaders’ disregard for personal integrity. People want leaders they can trust. They expect honest answers to questions.

So, what must CEOs do? Become a Trust Me leader, focusing on the welfare and success of the people around them rather than on their own. Ironically, this ensures their own welfare and success more surely. They hold firm under pressure and maintain their focus. Above all, they possess integrity.

Integrity is intrinsic to a Trust Me leader and is so compelling that people naturally want to follow leaders who have it. People are most willing to follow someone they can trust. They must be sure foe person will be straight with them, follow through faithfully on their stated intentions, and remain true to their expressed values.

What is integrity? What does it look like? What can a leader do to become a Trust Me leader? The root word for “integrity” is integer—a whole, indivisible number. Leaders who focus on integrity choose to live a whole life, neither divided nor fractured through compromise, hypocrisy, instability or dishonesty. They won’t do it perfectly, but in spite of expected human frailties, a Trust Me leader strives to be whole and undivided. He or she is “the real deal.”

In “The Soul of the Firm”, William Pollard wrote, “We must be people of integrity seeking to do what is right, even when no one is looking.”

Barriers to Integrity

Becoming a whole leader of integrity is easier contemplated than achieved. Before exploring the attitudes and actions that build a life of integrity, let’s examine some stumbling blocks not easily seen or surmounted on the journey.

When leaders are paralyzed by fear, they tend to lose perspective and often make decisions or act in ways that do not support integrity. Fear also causes them to lose vision .and hope. They vacillate and lose heart. They simply give up and a life of integrity sinks below their radar. They expect, or others expect, them to deliver results, but they are bound by such fear that they lose their sense of direction and their heart.

The compromise of values is a sad and gradual corrosion of golden intentions, happening over time—a little lie or indiscretion leads to another until, almost imperceptibly, integrity and character begin to crumble. Finally, their integrity is completely ruined.

The root word for hypocrite is lzupokrisis. It was used in classical Greek as part of theatrical acting and evolved to mean acting a part. In this sense, the great actors are hypocrites-they assume a role and act out a part. Their acting roles are separate from their real lives.

In leadership, integrity is about actions matching beliefs. Do leaders “act” the part or are they genuine? Does their walk match their talk? Hypocrisy, like fear and compromise, can destroy integrity and render leaders trustless.

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Posted in Management and Leadership

Exemplary Leaders Model the Way for Others

Exemplary Leaders Model the Way for Others

Some people see across the boundary of experience and into the future. They believe that dreams can become realities. They open our eyes and lift our spirits. They build our trust and strengthen our relationships. They stand firm against the winds of resistance and give us courage to continue the quest. We call these people leaders. They take us to places we have never been before.

Exemplary leaders engage in practices that stand the test of time, the first being that they model the way. Exemplary leaders clarify their personal values and then express those values in their own style and voice, in thought and action. They then set the example by aligning their personal actions with shared values.

Find your values and your voice

Exemplary leaders have strong beliefs about matters of principle. People expect their leaders to speak out on matters of values and conscience. Nevertheless, how can you speak out if you don’t know what’s important to you? How can you show you care if you don’t know what you care about? To earn and sustain personal credibility, you must find your voice by clarifying your personal values and expressing them in your own style. By finding your voice, you take the first step in the journey to becoming a leader. By asking yourself what value you bring to your constituents, you stay at the leading edge.

Leaders are clear about the values and motivations that drive them. Values serve as guides. By identifying your values, you find your voice. The clearer you are about your values, the easier it is for you to stay on the path you have chosen. Values inform your decisions about what to do, when to say “yes” and when to say “no,” and why you make those decisions.

Learn to express your values in a way that is genuinely and authentically you. You must authentically communicate your beliefs in ways that uniquely represent who you are. You must interpret the lyrics and shape them into your own presentation so that others recognize that you’re the one who’s singing.

Set the example

Clarity about personal values is part of modeling the way for others. If you stand for some personal set of values, then the only person you’ll be leading will be yourself. When you lead a group or organization, you have to move from “what I believe” to “what we believe.”

We can’t impose values from the top. It either leads to compliance or rebellion. Values cannot be forced. They must be forged. Being clear about personal values allows us to detect where there are shared values in the community.

Discovering values that can be shared is the foundation for building productivity and genuine working relationships. Although leaders honor the diversity of their constituencies, they also stress their common values. Leaders build on agreement. They don’t worry about getting everyone to be in accord.

Tremendous energy is generated when individual, group, and institutional values are aligned. Commitment, enthusiasm, and drive are intensified, as people have reasons for caring about their work. When we care about what we are doing, we are more effective and satisfied. We experience less stress. Shared values are the internal compasses that enable us to act independently and interdependently—simultaneously.

Align personal actions with shared values

Align personal actions with shared values

The most powerful thing a leader can do to mobilize others is to set the example by aligning personal actions with shared values. Leaders show up, pay attention, and participate directly in getting extraordinary things done. They show others by their own example that they are deeply committed to the values and aspirations they espouse. Leaders are measured by the consistency of their deeds and words—by walking the talk. Leading by example is how leaders make visions and values tangible. It is how they provide the evidence that they are committed and competent.

Leaders enact the meaning of the organization in every decision they make and in every step they take. Leaders understand that they bring shared values to life in a variety of settings—in staff meetings, one-on-one conferences, telephone calls, e-mails, sermons, and in visits with colleagues and constituents.

Show people what’s important by how you spend your time

How you spend your time is the single clearest indicator, especially to other people, about what’s important to you. Critical incidents chance occurrences, particularly at a time of stress and challenge, offer significant moments of learning for leaders. They are often the most dramatic sources of moral lessons about what we should value and how we should behave. They become stories that are passed down in the workplace.

Therefore, you might use an organizer or journal to assess your alignment with your principles. Every evening, ask, “What have I done today to demonstrates that this value is near and dear to me? What have I done inadvertently to demonstrate this is not a value for me? What do I need to do to more fully express my values?”

By daily clarifying and reaffirming your values, you strengthen your resolve to contribute.

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Posted in Management and Leadership

How to Use Power Wisely to Transform People into Partners

Use Power Wisely to Transform People into Partners

Sensitive leadership is not leadership that lacks strength or courage. It is not softness, weakness, or lack of power. It is just the opposite.

Sensitive leadership builds people. A sensitive leader has a heightened awareness to such things as childcare, retirement programs, union issues, safety, motivation, training, career opportunities, fair policies, high standards, and social problems.

When you become sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, you gain not only knowledge, but the wisdom to make a difference. You realize there is more to life than material gain, status, power, and instant gratification. Your sensitivity to future trends keeps you at the forefront of your field, and it gives you the insight to create a vision for your people to follow, build an organization, and improve performance.

To improve the performance of your people and earn their respect, apply these four ideas about sensitivity:

  1. 'Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence' by Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis (ISBN 1422168034) Be sensitive to the power of a positive mental attitude (PMA). Your cheerfulness helps defeat cynicism, fear, futility, and despair. Your PMA will inspire a shared vision and help you enlist others to make a difference. It can calm turmoil, confusion, and chaos. It enables you to uplift people’s spirits and give hope when they feel overburdened or negative. With a PMA, you don’t ignore realities and difficulties, but you do find opportunity in problems. You have an optimistic view.
  2. Be clear about what is important to you. What is your mission? Are your followers enabled by it? What will you do to make a difference? What do you stand for? Performance is enhanced when your vision is clear, and others see how they fit into it.
  3. Recognize where people are (not where you would like them to be, where you think they should be, or where you think their potential lies). If you match your leadership style to someone’s current performance level, you will achieve much better results than you will by trying to make that person fit your preconception.
  4. Lend constructive support. To improve performance, criticize positively, give constructive support, and concentrate on the job, not on the character of the worker. Describe what you want, not how to do it. Also, be courteous and polite. Your leadership style isn’t what you think your style is—it’s what others perceive it to be. Compare your own perception with that of your followers and modulate your activities to suit the situation. The more sensitive you become, the broader your perceptions will become, the more possibilities you’ll see, and the greater difference you will make through your service.

Use Power Wisely

'Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion' by Robert B. Cialdini (ISBN 006124189X) Leaders who make a difference use their power in many situations. They recognize that power is the prime mover of people and events. Yet power is hard to define. Synonyms include: direct authority, influence, hierarchy, rank, superiority, clout, prestige, sway, mastery, and persuasion. We all recognize power when we see it in action. We know powerful people when we are with them, and we know that we need power to lead. Leaders who make the greatest contribution use power wisely.

Leadership requires you to be strong enough to tackle the tough issues and gentle enough to keep the solution humane, demanding enough to challenge others not to settle for easy answers and patient enough to know that progress takes time. Cultivate the wisdom to use power wisely. With power, you can achieve a great deal. Power, well used, energizes people and helps you to earn their loyalty and respect.

There are two kinds of power: power that comes from holding a position and power that comes from within. Personal power is the magnet that draws people to you. It is the energizer that gets things done. Your personal power outlasts your position power; by using these two powers, you can accomplish great things.

Recommended Reading

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Posted in Education and Career Management and Leadership

Empower Leaders by Addressing the What and the Why

Leadership Empowerment

Personally, I don’t think leadership is all that complicated. In fact, I summarize the leadership process in one page. While the process is simple, leaders invariably face an initial dilemma and two breakdowns.

Many leaders struggle with the paradox of when to exert “strong leadership” in team decisions versus when to empower their team to make decisions. Exert too much direction, and you are accused of being domineering or micro-managing. Empower too much and you run the risk of being indecisive.

The process I suggest is simple and intuitive, providing teams both the direction they need (leadership) and the boundaries.

For any worthy project, you need to answer six basic questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? Answering these questions in a 1-2-3 sequence will help you know where and when to step in:

  1. You provide leadership by first addressing what and why for the group. What do we need to accomplish and why is it important that we do so?
  2. You clarify with the team the real boundaries they are dealing with: “Who” needs to be involved, “When” it needs to be done, and “Where” it needs to occur.
  3. You empower the team by leaving the “How” up to them. Sounds simple, and it is, but being disciplined about it is not so simple.

The process usually breaks down in one of two places.

Empower Leaders

Breakdown #1 in Leadership Empowerment: The missing Why

We usually have the What, but we often don’t have a Why. I hear this complaint consistently, and it’s troubling. I feel obliged to give any group I ask to do something a compelling reason why. A compelling why means you ask people to do something because it’s going to help you do one of four things:

  • Better satisfy customers and ultimately increase revenues
  • Become more efficient and effective in your processes and drive productivity
  • Improve your cash flow position, or
  • Improve your relationship and image in the community

These qualify as compelling reasons. Leaders should give their team such reasons when asking them to do something. As a leader, if you can’t make a connection between what you’re asking your team to do and one of these compelling reasons, your people have the right to ignore you. Leaders often use such lame reasons as: “Do it because: I said so.” “Thats your job!” “It’s one of my performance objectives,” or “My boss said we had to do it.” When people don’t have a compelling why, they won’t sustain their effort. As employees, we are frustrated when we’re asked to do something and not given a compelling why. At the same time, we must recognize our responsibility for seeking one out. Before we let a leader walk away without providing a compelling why, we need to push back until we get one.

Breakdown #2 in Leadership Empowerment: The Prescribed How

The other place the process tends to break down is at Step 3, as people are often told how. This is a hard one for new leaders to work through. Many of them were promoted mostly because of their ability to deliver on the “how.” Yet it is the first thing they need to let go when they move into a leadership position. Easier said than done.

Nevertheless, the process is simple. You provide leadership by offering a clear “what” and a compelling “why.” You define the real boundaries for action and leave the “how” up to the team. If you stay disciplined, your people will want to work with you and you’ll build a team structure that’s more flexible, independent, and sustainable.

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Posted in Management and Leadership

How to Enhance Your Power

How to Enhance Your Power

Here are four ways to enhance our ability to use power wisely:

  1. Teach others to use power wisely and transform them into partners. Teach them to ask the questions, who, what, when, where, and why to evaluate problems. Review problems from an intellectual and emotional standpoint. As you motivate and inspire people to action, you create a partnership because you share power.
  2. Go where the people are. Communicate directly with people. Ensure that others are not intimidated or punished when they express honest opinions. Don’t hide behind titles, office doors, financial successes, or an autocratic demeanor. Be accessible.
  3. Share knowledge. Knowledge shared is knowledge multiplied. When you share knowledge, you empower people to act on their own. Shared knowledge enables people to take a risk, expand an idea, and venture to a new horizon.
  4. Seek opposites. Don’t surround yourself with people who resemble you, who have similar beliefs and biases. Seek contrasts—people who have the skills and abilities you need, not just those who duplicate your talents.

You must use different kinds of power for different people and situations. Learn to be flexible, fair, ethical, and judicious. To be a leader who makes a difference, you must use your power wisely.

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Posted in Education and Career Life Hacks and Productivity

Acquire More Power and Influence in Your Organization

Acquire More Power and Influence in your Organization

Would you like to be able to exert a greater influence on your organization? Wish you enjoyed more support from your peers and colleagues? Do your employees sometimes fail to ‘get’ you? Here’s what to do:

  • To establish credibility with your boss, adapt to your supervisor’s style, strengths, and weaknesses. Express an understanding of the challenges your boss faces.
  • To develop the allegiance and backing of your peers and subordinates, invest more time to cultivate relationships with all the people whose cooperation is essential to your own success. To help your organization become more efficient, develop a clear understanding of recurring problems. Then, volunteer to address the root causes of those problems and fix them.
  • Take a broader view of your goals and your organization’s objectives. The more senior your position as, the more important it is to connect your organization to the outside world. Work as a “team-player” who contributes actively to achieving your departmental goals, not just your personal goals.
  • Set the example. Don’t be like the countless other workers who view their jobs as a work avoidance schemes. There’s always work to be done; so making yourself available for it. Not only will this get you recognition as a go-getter, but also this establish you as someone with ambition. In addition, let your staff members and colleagues see you taking the perspective of your supervisors and peers. Invest time in developing successful working relationships with those around you.

'Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion' by Robert B. Cialdini (ISBN 006124189X) Recommended book: ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ by Robert B. Cialdini on how one could use psychological techniques of persuasion to influence others into doing things they did not originally plan doing. The six “weapons of influence” are reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.

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