Several years ago our work led us to draw the Tree of Performance as a way to illustrate the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation for a group of managers who were struggling to hit their goals. The idea of the image is to give the person in charge an idea of how many more levers they have to work with inside an individual, as opposed to the obvious "carrot and stick" behavioral outcome options. Recently, we began to return to this image as a way to suggest to business owners and executives that when it comes to power and influence the same could be true. Power typically only extends to the end of where the holder has the ability to monitor, and therefore control, outcomes (think US Military in a foreign country like Korea.) Influence, however, moves freely around and under borders, and trades on a completely different exchange: that of human emotion. It is our “ism” that flies around the world confounding leaders, and this greatly adds....
to our influence. Capitalism speaks to the roots of a person's need for self-improvement as they climb Maslow's ladder. In your own life as a leader you probably toggle back and forth between using your power and your influence without much notice. Our leadership engagements have left us considering the consequences that come from using power versus influence, and we have noticed that the latter far outpaces the former but can require more time and energy. When time is short, it helps to have practiced your verbal communication in tapping into your teams roots, or you will most likely go back to the old faithful: “my way or the highway” levers. What have you noticed in this area?
For more Leader topics try our post on Three Leader Lament That are Killing Your Culture.
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Drew Sanders Blog
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