The Public Relations Strategist

Forward Thinking: Traps that drain a leader’s power

Publication Date: 2011, Summer

Source: SO02 Public Relations Strategist
Product Code: 6K-031107
Organization/Author/Firm: Greg Beaubien
Specialization(s): Leadership
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Terry R. Bacon, author and scholar at the Korn/Ferry Institute, identified five sources of leadership power and how they can slip away: 

  • Knowledge power represents your talents, skills, abilities, wisdom and accomplishments, but it can be lost when you develop a know-it-all attitude, fail to credit the real source of knowledge or lack a basic understanding of your direct reports’ functional areas.

  • Expressiveness power is your ability to communicate powerfully when speaking and writing, but it turns into a power drain when you talk too much, listen too little or use verbal tics like “um.”

  • Attraction power is your ability to draw people to you, make them like you and make them prefer you to others. It goes away when you become aloof, arrogant, self-absorbed or unkempt.

  • Reputation power means how you’re perceived by your company, colleagues or society as a whole. It can quickly swirl down the drain when you ignore, overlook or misunderstand behavioral expectations or social norms, or when you fail to consider the consequences of your choices and actions.

  • Willpower is the desire to be powerful coupled with the courage to act — but you lose it when you become afraid of failing.

An article writer for more than 20 years and a frequent Tactics contributor, Chicago-based Greg Beaubien has forgotten most of the formal rules and mostly relies on gut instinct when he writes. Twitter @GregBeaubien


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