Positional power has always been the lowest level of leadership. Those who rely solely on positional power to influence those under them do not understand how leadership works. The time when people followed you and respected you simply because you are the boss is long gone.
Personal Power comes from being someone worth following and from knowing the basics of how to relate with people in a mutually respectful manner. It has little to do with positional power. Often the person with personal power is the real influencer in a group, and the one the ‘boss’ relies on.
Self-Leadership is the primary source of Personal Power.
Self-leadership is all about:
- Self-respect – respecting yourself enough to live congruently with your own values, and having a good self-assessment of your strengths and weaknesses
- Self-care – respecting yourself enough to look after yourself, and set clear boundaries for your life, so you always have energy and focus to be present when you need to be.
- Self-management – knowing how to set and manage priorities so that you can keep your word, and be consistently on time and prepared.
Healthy self-leadership releases personal power; it enables capacity, example, strength and conviction; which are all qualities of a leader whether a person has a leadership position or not.
When personal power and positional power come together in one person, effective leadership is the result.
Those who aspire to be leaders would be advised to invest in their own self-leadership, and develop their personal power, trusting that opportunities to influence others will surely come. This is a much better strategy than working hard to secure a leadership position and being found out with little capacity for personal power.