“Power corrupts.” — Lord Acton
Let’s face it: power can be intoxicating. It often commands respect, envy and fear. It can even add “height” to an otherwise small personality. Women love it; men crave it. And like money, very few individuals know how to handle it well.
That’s why so many bosses and “shot callers,” despite their lofty titles and take home pay, find their roles to be somewhat ineffective. And probably why there’s a grain of truth to the expression, “it’s lonely at the top.”
Power players are often inclined to believe that they have to be abrasive, loud, overbearing, and even belittling to assert their authority.
Not true. True leaders are inspiring, not intimidating.
Take for example, President Obama, the most powerful man in America. Whether it’s addressing the public, defending his policies, or providing answers for a Barbara Walter’s interview, he’s strong, controlled, and strategic. You’ll never see him raise his voice or his fist. He makes people feel as if they’re “working with him”, not “for him”. He knows the psychology of motivating people.
And you can, too.
Whether you’re the head honcho at your local office supply place, a P.R. Manager, a regional sales rep, or a crew chief at McDonald’s, here are some pointers on how to be powerful without being a “power fool”:
- Stay grounded. Recognize that there’s only one God, and you’re not it. As they say, “the bigger they are the harder they fall.” Keep proper perspective.
- Know that temper tantrums and anger outbursts are almost always an inappropriate response in the workplace. More often than not it causes others to have less respect for you than more. Watch your words!
- Whenever possible, use humor rather than rants and ridicule to make your point. It’s a technique that works well for T.V. courtroom judge, Greg Mathis. Try it…you might like it!
- Lead by example. Some of the bosses that got the most out of me were those that gave the most of themselves. Be one of them.
Follow these four tips and you’ll be a power player that wins respect and creates win-win situations for you and those you manage! Carpé diem!
(Image courtesy of kelsey_lovefusionphoto under a Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution generic license.)