Achieving power and leadership status
by, 05-02-2012 at 11:55 PM (501 Views)
Some things I'd like to point out to those who want "power" or will soon be in leadership positions.
Power is not on a scale of 1-10. Its not a spectrum of 0% to 100%. Its an absolute. Either you have it or you don't. There is no inbetween. You don't ask for it politely. It is either given to you, or you take it.
The following are some common lines people use to denote they have no power:
"Don't mistake my kindness for weakness."
What's wrong with this statement? It says, "please respect me because it hurts me when I punish you." You're asking others for power. It doesn't work. If you're a nice guy, you're going to be nice whether they like it or not and if they have a problem with that you keep your mouth shut and punish them when they try to test you. Power is not begged for, it is either taken from somewhere, or given to you by others.
"I am your superior officer"
The moment you have to try to assert your authority is the moment you've lost it. The best option is to shut your mouth and try again in a different way. If someone bests you, you say, "hmm, you're correct. Perhaps I should try something else." Your humility is going to throw them off guard and they're going to attempt a last ditch effort to sieze your power by saying something like, "Yeah... you're damn right you should try something else. It doesn't make any damn sense" At that point you smile and nod to show them how little power they have over your emotions. Hence my smirk everyone hated so much during bootcamp.
When you get angry. You lose power. When you make someone else angry, you gain their power. The 8 reasons people get angry are because they feel:
These are the 8 "big red buttons" that those who try to steal your power will try to push. The higher your self confidence is in each of these areas, the stronger and more impervious to attacks you will be. For example, personally, if you want to piss me off, you will reject me, accuse me, or make me feel powerless to defend myself (put me in the military, for example and accuse me of being disrespectful anytime I defend myself while flashing your rank at me).
What does this say about leadership?
#1. Lead by example: lead because you have self confidence in what you can and cannot do. When you are weak, you find someone strong in that area to help you. Transfer your energy to others. You have power over others because they say, "you're worthless" you respond, "hey cool beans bro." When someone makes you angry you have given them your power. This is a choice, not cause and effect. You have chosen to give them your power. From that point forward, anytime they want something from you they just push the button they know works.
#2. Leading by fear is only a temporary fix that will cause long term damage. Every time you inflict the pain of fear it leaves a bruise. Leave enough bruises and that person will avoid you or eventually break down and not want to work for you. Leading by fear will give you power over others, but eventually it will catch up to you in some unexpected way.
#3 Admitting to your mistakes: this is game theory folks. Admit to too many and people will underestimate you. This is a good strategy to use when you want to lower the tide to make it much easier to step onto the boat so to speak when you do actually decide to show what you're made of. You admit to your mistakes when others are onto you. If you don't, it means you're a coward and too scared of giving away your power. But what you fail to realize is that by showing them your vulnerabilities and that you don't care what they think of your weaknesses, you have power over them. Every time someone told me I didn't give a shit about anything, it was because I didn't give a shit about their attempts to control me.
Leading by fear is when you're in the back shooting at deserters. Leading by example is when you're on the front charging into battle and those behind realize there is no reason to be afraid. For this reason, they choose intrinsically to follow you to the death. At the same time, leading by example challenges the egos of others. "Hey, that guy is fearless.. I can't let him be more fearless than I am! (charges into battle)"
Are leaders born or made? I believe they are made but some exhibit more resilience and natural tendencies than others. You choose to be a leader.