Who does your power benefit?

You got the promotion. You got the great office (it may not be the corner office, but you’ll get there some day). Now you have all of this power. What’s a person supposed to do with all this power?

You could use it to your advantage in either a positive or negative way. To quote a line from an unlikely source (Spiderman), “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

I may be over dramatizing it just a little bit. But the point is, once you have more power, you’ll need to learn how to use it to benefit not only you, but the company as well. So let’s take a look at an example and see what the right way to use your power would be.

Your team is under the gun to finish a project early; do you:

1.    A. Hand all of the work to your team and threaten to fire anyone who doesn’t stay late.

2.    B. Buy the team dinner on the company card and stay late to work with them.

Of course, I’ve stated this scenario in black and white, but life is very rarely black and white. (By the way, I hope you all chose “B”). The thing about power is that, when used correctly, the responsibility of being a great leader comes with it. If you can’t use your power to motivate your team to do great things, then your power is essentially worthless.

How can you tell if you are using your power to “do good?” Here are some questions to ask yourself when making decisions:

Will this benefit more than just me? When you have power, it’s easy to make decisions that will work for you. But it is your responsibility to make sure that you aren’t leaving anyone out or causing collateral damage just to better your situation.

Am I making this decision for “the greater good?” When you have more power, sometimes you have to make the hard choices that affect the whole and not just the individuals. Step outside yourself and take a look at how it affects the whole company.

Will this choice be good in the long run? It’s tempting to make decisions in the heat of the moment that only pertain to the here and now, but you have to consider what affect your choices will make in the future as well as the present.

Having power is a great deal of responsibility and not everyone is designed to handle it. And that’s OK. But if you learn to be responsible with your power, you will find yourself seeing more success coming your way.

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From regional manager to international executive with quadruple the pay, Karen Keller’s unique blueprint carefully outlined the step-by-step process for creating high-impact influence and let me know when I was being influenced in a way that didn’t serve me.
Lloyd Moore
Global Director Supplier Quality & Development - Lear Corporation – South Carolina