Power And Leadership

Stephanie McGovern, leadership consultant and coach, owner of High Performance Systems, was the presenter at my Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) training on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.

In her presentation titled “Achieving results through personal power and leadership,” McGovern talked about some basic principles of power and influence, what is power (Energy + focus = power), the different kinds of powers and power sources. Some of the topics she covered include:

Three categories of power:

  1. Coercive power (Power over) – To force, pressure, comel or threaten someone to act in a certain way to achieve a goal.
  2. Covert power (Power under) – To control a situation behind the scene to achieve your desired outcome.
  3. Collaborative power (Power with) – To work together using each other’s individual power to achieve something greater than one person can achieve alone.

Three arenas of power:

  1. Personal power (relationship with self) – the ability to achieve desired outcome; act in alignment with your strengths, skills, purpose, values, beliefs; and have confidence and trust in yourself.
  2. Interpersonal power (relationship with others) –  the ability to influence others to do what you want without use of formal authority or positional power. It requires an ability to understand what others want and need and to help them get it as well as a willingness to pursue what you want and need. Interpersonal power creates collaboration, trust, alignment with common goals.
  3. Organizational power (relationship to the environment and the system) – the ability to work within an oprganization to create outcomes that supports the needs of the individuals in the organization and the overall goals of the organization.

Personal power base – the 4 P’s:

  1. Purpose – What is my outcome?
  2. Passion – What do I really care about?
  3. Personal responsibility -What’s my part?
  4. Possibilities – What could I do?

The blame game:

  1. Blaming – disowning problems
  2. Fixing – owning others’ problems
  3. Complaining – dwelling on problems

The winner’s game:

  1. Reframing – move from blaming to responsibility
  2. Coaching – move from fixing to encouraging others
  3. Problem solving – move from complaining to positive solutions

Reasons for resistance:

  1. I don’t understand it.
  2. I don’t like it.
  3. I don’t like/trust you.

Dealing with resistance:

  1. Listen
  2. Make it easy to understand
  3. Make it safe to change
  4. Identify and understand underlying needs
  5. Find a common goal
  6. Invite joint problem solving

The all-day training was a mixture of PowerPoint presentation, group discussions, partnership work, and games. It was informative, interesting and engaging.