For many of us, the attraction of money and power is one of the biggest incentives to working hard and going up the corporate ladder. But once you have power, even just a small amount of it, how do you deal with it? How do you further your career by using it?
For purposes of this discussion, we will be limiting ourselves to professional power, the power given to a person by reason of his position and rank in the workplace, as opposed to personal power, which is not attributable to one's rank and title, but rather to his personality and influence over other people in society.
Use your power correctly, and you will see you career soaring to new heights in no time. Once you're in a position that holds some power, create a new image for yourself. Recreate yourself in such a way that you will appear exciting and formidable to the people around you. Know your limitations in reinventing yourself, though. Don't become bizarre or scary. You should be respected and admired, instead.
- Use your power as your license to become unpredictable, so everyone in the workplace will always be on their toes when dealing with you. This will actually make them work harder, benefiting the whole office eventually. Listen to your office mates and give your own insights, but do not divulge everything you're thinking. This will make them think out of the box, helping your office become a grapevine for creative ideas. Remember that if your department or company succeeds, so will your career, and being one of the people on top, the success may be traced back to you.
- Combine your professional power with another power—that of suggestion. Don't force people to do things against their will; coercion will not get you anywhere. Try firm persuasion. Make people feel that they want to follow you because they believe in what you're saying. Also, learn how to make people feel as if they have a choice, but in reality, you're gearing their minds towards choosing only one option – your option. To do this, you must be able to back up your suggestion with a lot of pros and a minimum of cons.
- Get to know everyone around you, and since you have professional power, the people below you in the corporate ladder won't find it obtrusive or unusual for you to talk to each one of them. Acquainting yourself with them will help you discover their strengths and weaknesses, and you can use their strong points to benefit the company, and eventually, yourself.
- Be a person of few, but effective, words. Persons of power do not have to be talkative; they can get their message across without saying much. Be like that – direct and concise. Know what to say and when to say it. This will help you establish an air of mystery around you, which will help you become unpredictable. Give compliments at times, your work force needs to feel appreciated.
- If you have superiors above you, do NOT use your power on them. Follow their instructions and always show the necessary amount of reverence and submission. Most of all, observe them and how they use their power. Learn.
Use your power to shine. You have resources and employees to work for you, so do your best at what you're doing. Try hard, but act as if these things come easy to you. Make the company feel that they need you, and not the other way around. Make yourself indispensable. You'll find yourself going up the ladder effortlessly.