Certain roles carry levels of authority – like a parent, manager, or president. This authority is one dimensional, and can be easily disregarded. Unlike power, authority is typically “given” and carries rules in a way that does not ensure buy-in.
Power or influence is earned. It is three dimensional, connecting the mind, body, and soul. People will go through walls for powerful leaders. It’s important to understand power does not come from an authoritative title, a relationship with business leadership, nor the amount of money one makes.
Consider a parent that smokes that is telling his teenage child not to smoke. Although the parent has authority, they will not have much power in this situation. The interesting thing about power is it usually develops by reducing self defeating activities. Consider the difference in power that a parent that does not smoke versus the parent that does. All three dimensions of power are vulnerable.
Attitude. One who seeks power must maintain control over their attitude and cannot be a victim of their insecurities. They must overcome them. A few examples of violations include avoiding conflict, being controlled by a fear, and not taking making the tough decisions when required.
Body Language. Their physical presence must have a calming effect on others. The must be able to accept difficult information and remain in control. This is easily violated when someone becomes sunken, animated, violent, and/or intimidating.
Interconnections. The people you aim to follow must trust you, believe you care about them, and believe in your abilities. These make up the soul of relationships. Violations typically develop through poor communication. When one’s actions may appear to put pressure on one of the three interconnections, the decisions made must be properly communicated.
If your authority level is not matched by the level of your influence, your team will be disengaged.
I hope you internalize what I have shared here and apply it to boost your influence.