Archimedes was on the right track when he said many years ago, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” Selecting the right lever for the situation is something a successful leader does, if not by second nature, by learning. There are many different power levers – some too unwieldy and some too weak. Finding the right one for the situation requires analysis.
Just like a ships’ captain must continually verify the ships course, it is essential that a leader stop and review the situation to make sure the lever and associated actions they are using are the most effective. No one wants blowback from being overpowering or ineffectiveness by using too little. This is a pull-use of the power lever, where the leader pulls their employees to action instead of pushing them into action.
When specific decisions need to be made quickly, the authority lever that flows from position power or the power to command is appropriate. However, when creative thinking or a high level of commitment is needed, relationship power or systems power yields better results.
Since we learn power levers from others, many of us overlook valuable options. The goal of Leadership Power Levers™, is to identify the type of power that will provide the greatest success in any given situation. Misuse of a lever can shatter reputations, sour relationships and cause trust to evaporate. Take the time to identify which lever is appropriate given your context. Then you will have the opportunity to move, if not the world, at least your organization.
Wondering which power levers you are using? Please contact us for a free Leadership Power Levers™ analysis and find out what your options are for enhancing your power!