There are two kinds of power you can use inside an organization.
Position Power – which you get from your title, your inside information, and your authority. And . . .
Persuasive Power, which you get from your ability to deeply understand other people, empathize with what they want and need, and enroll them in what might be possible if they let go of the past and create the future.
Position power will always be seductive. It’s simple, makes you feel safe, and is hard to question or challenge.
But persuasive power will almost always be more effective.
While it’s true people will go along with what the boss says they will be more inspired, more aligned, and more willing if what the boss says is said to them in a way that makes sense, comes from a clearly crafted vision, and is done with heart.
Persuasive power will also always feel more vulnerable, scary, and will increase the likelihood of failure.
Which can make choosing what to focus on challenging.
The important thing to remember is that even if you have (or get) position power, focusing on persuasion will always create more possibility, influence, and inspiration.
After all the best leaders are both in charge and inspiring.
The best choice is not picking a side and learning to master both.
Today I will remember that taking the time to listen, understand, empathize, and communicate always adds to my ability to lead. Whether I’m leading myself or an entire organization.