“Power is nothing unless you can turn it into influence” – Condoleezza Rice
Perhaps when Condoleezza Rice, the 66th United States Secretary of State was inspired to make that lasting statement on power and its relation with influence, she was reflecting on who she was at the time she held that powerful office under President George W. Bush, Jr.
Power, by itself, is the ability to get things done or to direct for tasks to be accomplished. It takes influence to distinguish power. Influence is the effect of power on people. It is okay to feel powerful, but when the people to be led are resistant to your powerful outlook, your power can do nothing to get the needed results.
In this article, I’ll be sharing with you, How To Gain Power And Influence.
- Be confident in yourself
The best start-off point in gaining power is to look into you and grab whatever spells out confidence. Confidence denotes satisfaction, strength, and focus. It is one of the sublime ways of drawing attention to yourself.
Beyond looks and books, being confident lie in self-acceptance regardless of obvious shortcomings. The message a confident fellow passes across is that he is fine with himself, and wouldn’t necessarily wait for validation from people to act the way he wants.
The air of self-confidence cannot be mistaken because it brings with it a certain freshness that no human can resist.
Self-confidence isn’t cockiness. Cockiness hardly sustains attention because it is associated with egotism, arrogance and the putting others down. You can find cockiness in a person who has lost confidence in himself.
- Be independent
You cannot successfully gain influence if you are dependent on people for everything you need. Showing some degree of independence no matter how much you are required to ask for help gives off the impression that you are strong.
It will also help you in standing for your beliefs without fear of losing your helpers’ favor.
- Grow your knowledge base
Sir Francis Bacon in 1957 nailed the concept of knowledge when he said that “Knowledge is Power.” Indeed, a knowledgeable man is powerful, and when his knowledge appeals to people and their needs, he has become a man of influence.
Acquiring knowledge isn’t strictly done within the four walls of a classroom; it is a lifelong process that demands regular updates, especially in a field of interest.
A politically savvy person should be abreast of current happenings in politics and their effect on the masses. With facts and the logical examination of problems, incorporated with practical suggestions as solutions, he has already climbed a notch in drawing followers to himself.
Karl Marx is one of the powerful men who amassed followers for themselves through his edge-cutting knowledge.
- Show kindness
The kind of influence that one wields in this 21st century isn’t out of people’s helplessness, not to do things for themselves, but through people’s willingness to trust you. Therefore, it has to be earned.
Showing kindness doesn’t end with being nice; it is in taking steps further to be concerned with how people feel, and to offer to help them where necessary.
Leadership without kindness is devoid of true followership. Naturally, people are interested in how a system will serve their needs even as they commit to serving the system.
Warmth, affection, compassion and generosity extended in acts of kindness can succeed in placing a person high and above in the realm of power and influence.
- Show calmness and resilience
Challenges are inevitable. Most of the time, they come at unexpected times and without being in control of your feelings, you can slip off into the pit of confusion. Confusion then will result in destabilization of thoughts and actions.
A powerful man is perceived to always be in control, having such calm that beats every form of confusion. It starts with training yourself to put up an attitude of being in control, even though within you, you have gone nuts. What follows will be tackling the heart-breaking challenge with a resilient spirit, never backing out, and never showing that you’re overwhelmed, especially when you are surrounded by weaker people.
Whosoever stays collected in the face of danger is extolled as a fearless, powerful person.
- Be open
Openness, in this context, has to do with your feelings and thoughts when you are in a position of leadership.
A leader who conceals information that his followers have the right to will gradually lose his influence over them. It is necessary to carry people along in a language that touches their spirits of service. Trust them enough to share your feelings with them.
An air of perfection can be tagged cockiness. You are not a god who does what he thinks is the best. Make them know that you cannot lead them by yourself if they are unwilling to be led.
Show humaneness. Show a form of softness that is natural to every normal human being.
- Be firm but not rigid
You must have a set of principles and values that guide your actions. It is a clueless life that believes that anything goes.
When you are known for your punctuality and for your principle of hard work alongside your low tolerance for incompetence, it is only a matter of time before power is conferred on you.
However, your influence will come when you have space in your principles and values to accommodate flexibility in rules with respect to the occasion that calls for it. This does not imply cutting corners; rather, it is centered on giving room for mistakes in people without throwing them away as miscreants for first-time or second-time offenses.
In conclusion, gaining power and influence is easy with training and sacrifice.
First, you have to be confident in yourself by self-acceptance. Then, you must be an independent man or woman who doesn’t depend on people for every need.
You must grow in knowledge and show kindness. In the face of challenges, you must be calm and resilient. Finally, be open with your thoughts and feelings, and be firm but not rigid.