Power is having the resources you need to make a decision for an outcome without permission from others. It’s not gender-specific and it’s not wrong to want it. Powerful people know who they are and who they aren’t, and they know how to be generous—as leaders, resources, and listeners. They’re focused on solutions instead of being right.
Too often, managers focus on self-sabotaging, assumption-based behaviors like:
- Taking everything personally
- Focusing on tasks rather than outcomes
- Telling everyone—detail by detail—what they’re going to do
- Thinking that they always need to be right
- Blaming others for lack of results (giving away the power to create an outcome) and
- Auditioning for parts they already have (reciting their resume in a meeting)
If you find yourself demonstrating these behaviors, determine what false assumptions you’re making and create new, more powerful behaviors. Remember, you’re in charge of how you’re perceived.
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