Monday, 17 November 2008

Authority - or Power?

A classic example of the 'old' age of business is the need to get a 'senior role' - to be recognised as a 'senior' person.  To get a 'position of authority'. By getting a 'position of authority' it is assumed that one will also have power. Not so.

Power today is not about position but about connection. It's about your networks, how you manage them and how you provide services and connection to others - thereby building a 'reciprocity reserve'.

A 'reciprocity reserve' is the creation of 'positive' indebtedness in others. Where you have willingly done something for someone else without fear or favour and as a result they have become a person who would willingly and happily return that favour once asked.  This is power. In the new age of business this kind of power alows us to leverage and change things that just having a position does not.

By using position to apply power, you are likely to be faced with rebellion. By using connections to apply power through leverage you are more likely to get compliance.

Networks are becoming more important in business - especially in more challenging times. My father once said that there are no 'little people' in business. Everyone counts.

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