Many people like the idea of having power. But they see power as an end itself, not as a means to a more worthwhile or widely benevolent end. Others, who realize the corrupting influence that power can have, are more guarded toward it, realizing how easily it can be abused.
But to be an effective leader, you need to know about power – how to get it, how to keep it, and how to use it to guide your company.
Here are a few thoughts on using power wisely.
Get comfortable with power
It’s a simple fact– if you want to move your company forward, to make a positive impact, you need to have power. Learning how to use power in the best way is one of the responsibilities of leadership. Leaders need to learn the various ways of commanding power and which of those ways are open to them.
Recognize the dark side of power
Leaders always need to keep in mind that power often corrupts. The more power that people gain for themselves, the greater the chance that they will become corrupted by it and abuse it. Some business experts caution that when leaders get too much power, they become more self-centered and ignore the needs and feelings of others in the organization.
Leaders need to be aware of this inclination and stay alert for changes in their own behavior. They need to get feedback from others around them to tell them if they are becoming too abusive of their power and when it may be going to their head.
Use your power to help others improve their performance
The role of leaders is to guide their teams, to make decisions and propel the company forward toward common goals. The leaders have the loudest voice and their success depends on those below them.
So using the power of leadership effectively means helping to guide and look out for others. Listening is extremely important. The leader needs to give feedback, create career development opportunities for people, coach them, show appreciation for their work and give them respect.
Think about impact
Using power wisely means taking the time to think about the consequences of your decisions on the well-being of the people below you. As a leader, you need to think dispassionately about moving the company toward its goals, but you cannot forget about the emotional aspect of being a leader, and finding a balance between the two. You need to get the job done, but at the same time to treat your workers with the empathy and respect they deserve.
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