As leaders, we all wield significant power—but not the old-model version of bossing people around and yelling “you’re fired!” if they don’t make the grade.
True power calls us to connect with others and to connect them with their own strengths, encourage them and lead them toward places they wouldn’t normally go to on their own.
That’s the best kind of power, but it can easily fall through the cracks of day-to-day leadership.
As an executive leadership coach, I sometimes find myself having to remind my clients of how powerful they really are, and the ways in which they can exercise that power.
Here are 7 types of power so effective that they’re practically superpowers:
1. Persuasion. Your ability to persuade others—to win them over to your point of view and inspire them to action—is grounded in your relationship with that person and in your own integrity. When you carry out your own role with excellence and a commitment to serving others, you can persuade others with genuine authority.
2. Positivity. To stay positive in the worst times, when everyone around you has given in to negativity, automatically elevates your work and message. Positivity gives hope and purpose to others when they need it most and leads your team to the highest level of accomplishment.
3. Observation. Many people are too busy to even notice their surroundings or their circumstances. Sometimes the power of a great leader comes from the simple act of slowing down enough to take a look around and assess what you see. Observation allows you to pinpoint problems and issues—and their solutions—early on.
4. Decisiveness. While others pride themselves on being a great thinkers, great leaders understand the power of decisiveness. They observe and assess, then act quickly and confidently without second-guessing their conclusions. Even if you get it wrong once in a while, you’ll still outperform those who are slow to act.
5. Modesty. It may go against intuition, but modesty is a secret weapon of some of the greatest leaders. When you’re modest you stay teachable and humble, no matter how much you already know. You see yourself as a servant and a student more than a master, and you exhibit a willingness to engage with others that leads to respect.
6. Tenacity. If you could have only one leadership superpower, this is the one you’d want. In many situations it’s the factor that determines your chances for success. When everything around you is falling apart and you respond with determination, courage, persistence, and strength, that’s character. And genuine character is the highest form of power.
7. Insight. Vision is one of the most important factors in leadership, and insight is the highest form of vision. With insight you really can see around corners and through walls to know what’s really going on and gain a feel for the underlying issues. A single moment of insight can be as powerful as a lifetime of experience—but it’s a skill that has to be built and nurtured.
Lead from within: It may feel vain to consider your sources of power, but they’re the things you need to fulfill the responsibilities of leadership—and the more you understand them, the stronger they become.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
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Photo Credit: Getty Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.
22. Nov, 2016
Point 3 is the most powerful one for me, Lolly. The more we observe and orient, the more persuasive, decisive and insightful we are. If we can make an educated guess about how team members will respond to a specific situation or style of communication, it’s a little easier to become more human and positive, and rally the troops more effectively.
Preston Vander Ven
22. Nov, 2016
I wanted to add one more that I got from my son’s school. It was the school theme last week. “READING IS MY SUPERPOWER”. Reading is a trait that has change my life and help me build are begin to learn every power on your list.
23. Nov, 2016
Great superpower! I read a book a day… I know the gifts it brings me. Great addition.
23. Nov, 2016
Power can be sourced and wielded from many sources. What power you choose, how you use it, and when, is the recipe of the ones that we want to follow.
29. Nov, 2016
Great insight. Our power is powerful. How we use it makes a difference.
25. Nov, 2016
Great list Lolly. I think the ability to listen is a superpower that goes unnoticed far too often. When leaders stop and listen, they have the power to place themselves in various perspectives – which provides them with valuable new ways of thinking.
Susan Mary Malone
26. Nov, 2016
I would agree with Vishal that Observation is so very powerful. And within it lies listening as well, which is the key to all.
I also just love Preston’s comment about his son’s school theme! As an author, nothing tweaks me more than hearing READING IS MY SUPERPOWER when it comes to kids.
From my soul I believe in peace through culture.
Great post, Lolly!
26. Nov, 2016
Yes, i can do these seven things and keep them always in mind. Thank you!