Responsibilities and Authorities—It’s Not About Power

A lot of people have a false idea about “power” relating to authority at work. Responsibilities and Authorities that define a managerial position are not about “power.” What separates the great bosses, the true leaders, is that they…

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Power must be directed to a purpose to provide useful work.

A lot of people have a false idea about “power” relating to authority at work. And from what I can see, the false ideas aren’t just limited to the business world.

I have worked for absentee bosses, authoritarian bosses, benevolent bosses, frighteningly competent bosses, incompetent bosses, knowledgeable bosses, Machiavellian bosses and respectful bosses. I have learned a lot from each. What to do from some; what not to do from others. I have concluded that the responsibilities and authorities that define a managerial position are not about power. At least not “power,” per se.

The purpose of the responsibilities and authorities that define managerial positions are to ensure that the managers clearly understand that they “have both the power and duty to make a difference.”

Power and duty to make a difference is a very different thing from power. Anybody would want the power. What separates the great bosses—the true leaders—is that they understand it is not about the power: It is about the power and duty to make a difference. Are you empowered?

Do you have what it takes as well as a duty to make a difference? You see, from my experience, it’s really not about the power or the title. It’s all about results.

 

Originally posted on PMPA Speaking of Precision blog.