Don’t Get Tripped Up on Power:
The 8 Cs for keeping power in prospective
Leaders are found in almost every stratum of life – in
companies, politics, and in social organizations such as families,
groups of friends, etc. Leaders are powerful people because they
have the ability to sway the attitudes, opinions, and actions of
others. Leaders inspire, influence and achieve results.
Everyone has the capacity to lead. That is because everyone
has the ability to influence others. Developing the right
leadership strategy for the people you lead is crucial to getting
the results you desire. Therefore, it is important that you
strengthen your skills to better influence, motivate, communicate
and coach your people.
Contrary to what many might think, few people are born as
leaders. Leadership is a skill that is developed over time, through
practice and hard work. Too often, being a leader and owning power
can trip you up. Power in such cases can be misused or abused. This
is often referred to as being on a “power trip.” Power tripping is
usually viewed negatively and can cause others to lose respect and
appreciation for you as their leader. Consequently, it is wise to
recognize, develop, and refine those personal characteristics that
are the mark of a truly effective leader.
Here are the 8 Cs for gaining and maintaining power and for
keeping power in its proper perspective.
As a leader
undoubtedly be confronted with competing demands from time to time.
The ability to manage these demands with integrity, honesty. And
selflessness becomes crucial at times like these. Being willing to
sacrifice your success, your fortune, and even your life takes
guts. Being unwilling to sacrifice your integrity takes character.
Martin Luther King,
Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times
of challenge and controversy.” Courageous individuals take
calculated risks. They hope for the best possible outcome but are
prepared for a loss.
Every day of your
life you may face challenges. But commitment is the will and
strength to keep forging ahead in spite of how many times you are
knocked to our knees. It’s the ability to accept setbacks as merely
temporary inconveniences that get in the way and try to steer you
off course. In the long run, however, unwavering perseverance gets
A good leader needs
to be accurately informed. Be sure you have all the available facts
before deciding anything. Carefully consider all options and their
possible results before taking action. Thinking through the
potential consequences of your decisions often prevents problems
from occurring down the road. Having enough information is only
part of the equation. When you have all of the information that is
available to you, use your intuition to fill in what’s missing.
Having the ability
to develop meaningful relationships with others is the most
important quality a leader can possess. You gain power through
relationships. Having the ability to understand and connect with
others is a key component in forming positive interpersonal
relationships. Developing relationships with key people will expand
your sphere of influence, your access to resources, and your
capacity to make things happen.
Contribution to the Welfare of Others.
One of the greatest attributes of a good leader is your
willingness to serve others. Many times people enjoy being in
positions of power because of what they gain personally, not because
they want to help others. However, service should come from the
heart if it is genuine. Having the willingness to serve others and
to put their needs and desires before your own is reflected
in the attitude and actions of a good leader.
referred to as vision, creative perception is essential to good
leadership. Leaders have a passion for change. They are
preoccupied with future possibilities. As a leader, you must be
able to clearly articulate your vision in order to inspire and
motivate others. Employees who are excited about the leader’s vision
and the direction of the organization become much more productive
and willing to participate in the success of the organization.
Much popular literature on leadership is rife with contrasts
between leadership and power. But to be an effective leader you
have to exercise power to realize the results you are striving to
achieve. Inherent in leadership is the ability to bring others
along either through the power of persuasion, erudition or position.
Because everyone has the capacity to lead, each of you is
powerful in your own way. Simply defined, leadership is the ability
to influence others to act and to motivate them to get things done.
Individuals ascend to a position of leadership by exercising power
in one of three ways:
is usually a result of your ability to make an emotional connection
with others and through this connection manage to persuade their
actions. Persuasive power is a reflection of your charisma, or
ability to draw people to you.
gained through extensive knowledge of a particular subject or an
area of expertise. Erudite power is usually based on the
acknowledgement of your intellect and/or academic accomplishment.
People are drawn to this type of leader because they are deemed
learned in a particular area.
is based on your ability to control and have authority over others
by virtue of hierarchical order. Positional power is most
frequently observed in employment situations where there are levels
of employees from line staff through senior management. It may also
be observed in politics where a person ascends to a position of
authority through an election process or by appointment.
In most cases, you may ascend to a position of leadership as
a result of a combination of these factors. Whether leadership is
gained through personal qualities, erudition, position or a
combination of these qualities, it involves influencing the actions
Knowing who you are is the most critical element in becoming
an effective leader. It requires looking through the lens of
critical analysis. It’s about being in control of yourself first,
before you can expect others to follow your lead. It’s about having
self-confidence and being passionate about your values and beliefs.
A good value system can help you to stay on course when the ship
gets tossed in the storm.
Read other articles and learn more about
Danita Johnson Hughes.
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