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The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust

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Work on your authority

Work on your authority

If the focus is today on cooperation, autority still remains an essential ingredient of performance. How can you develop your power and leadership to maximize the value you bring to the organization?

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The concept of power does not always get good press. Few managers like to believe that their position of power and use of authority is what actually drives people forward. Many prefer to bank on bonds of trust and the sharing of a stimulating vision. At the same time, no one is ignorant of the fact that there is a form of competition among peers to win promotions or to defend their respective points of view when trade-offs must be made. However, these power games are often perceived as the dark side of the organization, an inglorious reality which should be minimized by promoting cooperation and collective interests. Few managers are hence willing to think to themselves—much less say out loud—that reinforcing their power is one of their objectives.

And yet, power and authority are essential drivers for managers to add value in a business organization. Motivating people by building trust and giving them the desire to follow you is incontestably the most promising way to build engagement and the spirit of initiative. But some people will act only if they clearly perceive the negative consequences of opposing a boss’s requests. Having a coercive capacity thus reinforces your ability to obtain results.

This is as true for your own team as for the rest of the organization. When it comes time to make decisions concerning strategic direction, resource allocation, candidate selection, and so on, the confrontation of diverse points of view is healthy. The power to make yourself heard is thus essential to capitalize fully on your potential added value. Yet, this depends only partly on the relevance of your arguments; equally at play are your reputation, the legitimacy conferred by your status, your self-assurance, and the opportunity to prove that people listen to you and that some are ready to follow you. Indeed, all of these ingredients are decisive to your performance.

Certainly, power can be used to serve your own interests at others’ expense. But this must not hide the fact that power is also an essential ingredient of collective success. Working to reinforce your authority and power is thus indispensable, provided they are put to good use.


In this synopsis:
- Reinforce your power
- Authority: An exercise in agility
- Influence through your attitude

Synopsis n.226b


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