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Power, Politics and Persuasion - Influencing Others to Achieve Work Goals

Are you good at influencing others to achieve work goals?  Do you think being politically savvy is important in your organization? How is power used where you work?

The ability to influence others to get work done is a critical competency today. Inspiring leadersknow how to motivate others to achieve business results. They relish engageable moments with their people creating a culture of caring and achievement.

Power, Politics and Persuasion

Leaders must persuade others to get behind their ideas and plans. Strategies don't implement themselves. And even with a great plan, you can always expect opposition and resistance.

Successful leaders must use power, political savvy and persuasion to bring their ideas to fruition. Many executives, however, are uncomfortable with power or office politics, viewing them as the dark side of workplace behavior. They believe job satisfaction, morale and commitment erode when politics dominate the environment.

But research clearly shows that being politically savvy and building a power base pay off. In “Power Is the Great Motivator,” a classic 2003 Harvard Business Review article, leadership consultants David McClelland and David Burnham examined managers’ primary motivations and success in achieving results.

Their studies reveal managers are primarily motivated by one of three drives:

1. Affiliation: a fundamental desire to be liked

2. Achievement: the motivation to attain goals and gain personal recognition

3. Power: the desire to influence others

The most effective managers, measured by results, were motivated by power. But there’s a difference between managers who crave power for personal advancement and those McClelland and Burnham deem “institutional managers” (those who place the organization’s needs over personal goals and being liked).

Institutional managers:

  • Are highly organization-minded
  • Have a strong work ethic
  • Are willing to sacrifice some self-interest for the good of the organization
  • Believe in rewarding individuals who work hard toward organizational goals

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders improve their persuasive powers? Leaders at all levels need to improve their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How politically savvy am I?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for leaders who help their employees to improve their ability to influence others.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you become more politically savvy and influential. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica.

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Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
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