Take care of yourself first April 22, 2008Posted by rickbron in Management, Uncategorized.
Tags: getting resources, gettng opportunity for your people, Power, taking care of your people
Put your people first. This axiom of leadership has survived the ages. It is generally true and effective leaders make sure their people are taken care of before they attend to their own needs. The Big Dogz know this is not always true! One area where you need to take care of yourself first is in obtaining power in the organization. Without power, you can not get the opportunities and resources your people need and want. So, how do the Big Dogz go about getting power?
You create a power acquisition plan. This plan identifies the sources of power in your organization and defines how you will acquire that power. Here is how the Big Dogz create a power plan:
- Identify who has power — who are the key influencers in the organization. These are not necessarily the same people in the boxes on the organization chart. They are the people that the people in the boxes seek out for advice and counsel.
Watch and learn — what are the sources of the power? Is it because they are SME’s? Likeable? Knowledgeable? Connected? Do not judge the sources. Do not ask if it is fair. Just identify it. Ineffective leaders look at how power is allocated in an organization and judge whether it is a valid source of power from their perspective. You do not have power. You’re just observing.
- Identify how you can acquire the power — can you associate with these people? Read books? Give presentations? Change the way you dress? Once you have identified the sources of power and how to acquire it, the question you must answer is “Do I want to play?” Sometimes it is effective to invent new sources of power like being creative or providing a level of analysis no one else has provided. Look for behaviors that no one else is doing. An example might be to question the boss in a diplomatic way. This technique is especially useful in generating power if the boss reacts in a positive way. Inventing sources of power is risky, but pays huge dividends. The best approach here is to experiment.
- Start to execute your plan. Get help from those who have power. People who have power know it is effective to share power. By helping you gain power, they get power from you. Remember this principle when you finally get the power you want. Periodically evaluate your power. Are you being more influential? Are you being asked you opinion? Are your people getting the best opportunities?
As your power grows, you will see that it will be easier to take care of your people. Taking care of your people will give you even more power. Power is not negative; it is not ruthlessness. It is helping others succeed.
Some people think power is associated with a box on an org chart. There is power in those boxes; but power is not always associated with a position. In fact position power is the weakest type of power. Over the next 30 days, develop a power acquisition plan and start getting power. You will help your people and you will help yourself.