Where does our Power lie?
We are not always aware of the power of our words. Gossip assassinates multiple colleagues, as does favouritism and withholding of knowledge or support, due to preconceived ideas or stereotypes. Many leaders feel that their power rests in their position. They are managers who keep a file on their desk for an extra week, so that people know who’s in control. Other leaders feel that their knowledge is their power. They do everything themselves, and avoid mentoring, or sharing their wisdom. They are afraid. Afraid that we will not follow them, if not for their position. Or afraid that they will become redundant, or be “relegated”.
Confidence, on the other hand, comes from competence and identity, knowing our sustainable competitive advantage and ensuring that we continue to improve it. Confidence says “I know that it failed, but I am not a failure.” There is plenty of research (see Matthew Syed’s excellent book, Bounce) showing that it is healthiest to have a “growth” mindset: one that asserts that our hard work and perseverance will deliver results, as opposed to “talent” or “gifting.”
A third, more positive view is that our real power is to lead others, “growing” champions like a fertile, virtual field . This view promotes knowledge-sharing. Tom Peters, Leadership guru-of-sorts, makes the slides of his talks available soon after they are delivered. Why? As a trend-follower, he’s certain that he will already have surpassed this delivery by the time you meet him next. This open, connected style of leadership is the way the world is moving.
What do your actions suggest is your view? And is this what will promote the growth that you need in your future?