Use Your Power Effectively

Using your power effectively creates a motivational climate in the organization that moves you closer to your personal goals, moves your team members closer to their goals, and brings the goals of the organization within reach. In your role as leader, you can choose the methods you will use for motivating team members. You are free to make work assignments that maximize the use of team member potential.

You also serve as the role model for building and maintaining positive personal relationships. Because team members emulate your personal style, you can design the type of working climate you want in your part of the organization. As you gradually build a synergistic atmosphere, you enjoy the benefits of growing respect and trust from team members. Their loyalty to you gives you added power, not only among your team, but among your peers and supervisors in the overall organization.

Your authority and power are leadership tools which, when properly utilized, help team members grow and improve. Some team members may see little need for personal growth or for increased productivity. Avoiding risks and seeking security, they prefer to continue in the same groove they have filled for years. Even though they may resist your efforts at first, persistence pays off in the long run as team members begin to enjoy new levels of personal productivity and increased self-esteem. The judicious use of your authority and power support them in the practice of new behavior patterns until they have time to develop the new attitudes and willingness to change that combine to make the new behaviors permanent.

Not only do your team members experience personal growth as a result of your exercise of authority, they also respond to its use with increased motivation. As you develop greater expertise in providing leadership in the work responsibility and activity of others and in using authority and power wisely, you discover new depths of personal potential that you can use creatively to bring your goals and the goals of the organization into reality.

Exercising authority and power within the organization help to satisfy your ego needs for status and recognition. These needs are entirely legitimate, although they are often unexpressed for fear of appearing to be self-serving. When these needs are fulfilled, you gain self-confidence. Your self-image becomes increasingly positive. You are free to use even more of your potential, to take greater risks for additional growth, and to move on to the satisfaction of higher needs.

Additionally, the positive use of your authority and power strengthens your self image and your sense of personal competence. When you know you have succeeded in making a positive impact on the lives of a large number of team members, you experience a reinforcement of your own standards and personal values. Effective motivational leadership provides concrete evidence that you have fulfilled your need to make a contribution to the lives of others. This satisfies the social needs all people experience, and it moves you into the area of self-actualization—of making the fullest possible use of your own unique talents and abilities.

Enjoy your power. Think of it not as a manipulation tool, but as a means of expressing your own inner self in a way that is meaningful to you and our people.

Leadership Management® Institute
Reprinted with permission
Strategic Essentials is a Managing Partner for Leadership Management® International, Inc.

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