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How to gain power and influence

Enthusiastic and committed managers strive to get things done by exerting influence, a process that involves the use of power. If you have power, you can influence the behaviour of others and get people to do what you want them to do. Normally power should come with the job; but you can gain it by other means. Here are some of the ways in which you can accumulate power in your organisation...

1. Gain control by moving into a position of power.

Seek promotion. Power and influence are normally part and parcel of the formal authority vested in a senior managerial position. But remember that, as well as using your recognised title and role in the organisation, you may need to bolster this legitimate coercive power with other forces to increase your influence over others…

2. Gain control over resources.

You will gain additional power over others if you are in a position to approve their requests for essential resources such as money, equipment, space, staffing, transportation, or facilities.

3. Gain control over the flow of information.

People rely on access to information to do their jobs; so the more you know about what's going on, the better you can decide how to use that information to influence others. Find out what is going on through formal channels and through your own informal network. Get yourself on to the right committees and distribution lists. And if you know what's going on behind the scenes by accumulating privileged information, all the better: you can act far more effectively than those who are not in the know.


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