Leadership is not about who you are but about where you’re going

Self-importance seems to go hand in hand with titles. Ascending to a position of power and importance can readily go to one’s head. One leader revealed that within hours of being appointed to a new job, one where he was in charge, he received two phone calls from colleagues encouraging him to show his power, … Read more…

The principle of promissory note

You see them too if you ever scan the listings. I am talking about the jobs sections of Craigslist. You can make thousands of dollars working for an unnamed company whose application address is a blind one. This is a common theme of mine. The setting was a private school. The newly installed headmistress faced … Read more…

4 Lessons from a meddling boss

The hour was late, quite late in fact, somewhere around 8 p.m. The office had technically been closed since 5 but I was still there working with two volunteers. I was tasked with the job of preparing registration packets for the 1300 or so incoming guests at a conference. The sponsoring organization had contracted with … Read more…

The Power of Example – two reasons why it is imperative that we practice what we preach

“He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.” Francis Bacon You can get to the top of our profession and game by being conniving, ambitious, … Read more…

6 Bases of Power – the nine characteristics of a Principle-Centered leader

I raised quite a firestorm a few years ago when I wrote an article called “Cardboard Elvis.” (You can check it out here.) It discusses the disparity between charismatic leadership and principle-centered leadership. They are not mutually inclusive nor are they mutually exclusive. The article explains that while society in general is attracted to charismatic … Read more…

6 Bases of Power – Charismatic

They stand out, those charismatic leaders. Larger than life and more enduring than time, their names remain known and their works referred to yet today.  People like Jesus, Caesar Augustus,  and Charlemagne anchor ancient history.  In the more recent past it is Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Lincoln, Henry Ford, Aimee Semple McPherson, Churchill, Hitler (despicable but … Read more…

6 Bases of Power – Knowledge

When the definition of power includes the “ability to exert influence” there is probably no basis greater than the subject of today’s post. People love advice form perceived authorizes. Take, for example, Ann Landers. Ann Landers is a pen name invented by Chicago Times columnist Ruth Crowley in 1943 and taken over by Eppie Lederer … Read more…

6 Bases of Power – Coercive

There was a time when this type of power was common. It is the first resort of bullies, manipulators, and thugs. It is the last resort of everyone else. The Business Dictionary defines it as “Authority or power that is dependent on fear, suppression of free will, and/or use of punishment or threat, for its … Read more…

6 Bases of Power – Transactional

The desire for an answer  is on everyone’s mind but seldom expressed early on. Every job applicant wants to know how much. Every employer wants to know how little. The question? The applicant wants to know how much will I get paid? The employer wants to know how little can s/he pay and still get … Read more…

The 6 Bases of Power – #1 Official Power

This just might be the most visible and common basis for power in our culture. Government is everywhere with its many officials who wield some degree of power over some segment of life. Police, firemen, zoning inspectors, building inspectors, tax collectors, license bureaus, apartment managers, condo boards, homeowner’s associations, the BATF, the FBI, the CIA, … Read more…

Power Plays – 3 motivators that really do work

Graham was a salesman of specialty products with a proven record of success. His many, many years of experience had yielded a high degree of confidence in himself and in the products he sold and an advanced level of competence in his craft as a personable, trust-inspiring, responsible salesman. The retail company for whom he … Read more…