“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done – because they want to do it.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
What is your level of personal power? It’s a sign of authentic leadership and an important quality to develop in life and in business. There is a big difference between personal power and granted authority, however, many people have the tendency to use the words interchangeably.
These words refer to two very different aspects of leadership.
Power is the capacity or ability to influence the behavior of others. It does not depend upon title, rank, position or authority. It is simply the ability to motivate others to take specific actions – because they want to.
Authority is the right granted from a person or an organization to another to represent, or to act, in a specified way. For example, the CEO of a company is given the authority by the board of directors to run the company. In turn, the CEO places managers in positions of authority over the various divisions and departments of the organization.
Authority is granted, but always has defined limits. Power is earned – and can be limitless. Most of us know that a person can possess a great deal of power and no authority. Conversely, a person can have authority, but absolutely no power.
Real, genuine, authentic power creates a climate of trust, cooperation, and accomplishment in which people are positively motivated to pursue their own goals and the goals of the organization.
So – what is your level of personal power? Whatever it may be, you can continue to build on it by simply being you… genuinely you. Be intentional about shaping your life according to your values and priorities. Trust yourself. Believe in yourself. Be honest with yourself. When you do, others will trust, believe and be honest with you – and this is the foundation that enhances personal power.