Influence vs. Authority
Posted by Meg Bear on December 11, 2009
I am regularly puzzled when I hear the view expressed that people will only do work for you if you are their manager.
My view is that being the manager is not what is critical, having influence is what matters. The higher you go in management, the more important influencing skills become.
Even at a line management level, the need for influencing skills is growing as the concept of management is evolving. Many predict that management will continue to move from hierarchical to matrix as global teams become the norm.
With all nods to irony, I have a Kiersey type called promoter artisan, that makes me naturally disposed to influencing. I have countless personal examples where I have seen success for my teams and my products, not based on who had to do things for me due to the organization chart, but on who chose to do things for me, due to their belief that my project was important for them.
If influencing others is not a strength for you, I would recommend you start thinking about focusing on this skill. The next time you think that your success cannot be attained until you have full authority, I would like you to consider that you might be looking at both the problem, and your ability to impact the solution, way too small.