5 Ways to get personal power

Andy kelly sundial consulting
Andy Kelly

There are many ways to get personal power. Some more ethical than others. Some more successful than others. In this video and blog post I will discuss with you the most important skills you need to work on, to develop your personal power within your organisation.

If you feel a bit stuck in a rut and somewhat anxious about making change you might find this post useful: Important Skills For Leaving Your Leadership Comfort Zone.

5 Ways to get personal power – script

I want to talk to you about personal power. Specifically ways to get personal power. Personal power in terms of, how do you get impact? how do you get followership? Power can be seen as a very dirty word, steeped in politics and manipulation, but it’s really important in business.

There’s much written about it. Some have followed the words of Sun Tzu The Art of War or either Machiavelli the Priest (slightly more questionable). There’s even a book called the 48 Rules of Power by Robert Greene, which is a really good read. I wouldn’t recommend you follow them all, some of these rules are morally questionable. It’s just interesting and fascinating why and how people DO leverage power.

I want you to think about how YOU get it. How do you take power from people? How can you take it from people? Can you make people follow you? Can you make people change?

The answer is ‘no’ I’m afraid. They choose.

They choose whether to follow you, they chose whether to believe in you. So, you have to think about how you can help them.

There are 5 simple themes in this very complex subject. 5 ways you can get personal power from others:

  1. Position Power – If you are the boss or in any position of power you just get given power naturally. But this can just be even leading a meeting. Even if you just hold the pen at the front of the room, people just start giving you power. It’s fascinating.
  2. Expert Power – If you are an expert in the subject being discussed people will simply defer to you, people will pay attention. So it is beholden to you to do your research and be prepared. You come in with data to support your ideas and arguments, you will get more power.
  3. Intellect Power – People with just ‘good’ brains get a good listening to. If Einstein walked by me now, I stop talking and I start listening. You’ve either got a ‘big’ brain or you haven’t. But, you can leverage language to get intellect power. Also, these days EQ is seen as more important than IQ in business and leadership. So think about how you can leverage your social dexterity.
  4. Political Power – Who are you connected to? This is the one that people really misunderstand and underplay. People think it’s both ‘brown nosing’ and ‘blowing your own trumpet’. It’s not! Think about your role, think about your ecosystem – and how you can leverage that to forward the agendas of people in power in your organisation (or in  your partners or customers)? How can you help them? And then they will just start talking about you. They will start building your brand for you!
  5. Charisma Power – People who just walk in a room with an aura and a charisma making people just stop and want to start listening to them. The are typically self confident and they have that self awareness. If you don’t believe in you, how can I believe in you? They are listeners, they pay attention to people. Their questions and conversations are often about ‘the other’. They have a warmth and a strength that is a hard blend to get. So, think about how you can build your own charism.

Remember, when you do get power – don’t give it away. People give power away so easily. They get offensive or emotional and give it all away after they have worked so hard to get it.

And lastly, one more hint about gaining power. Ask bloody good questions. He or she who asks the question has the power. The other person then has to start talking while you quietly calmly listen.

Good luck and I would love to hear your views on this subject by commenting below!


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