- On March 9, 2018
This recent WSJ article gives great suggestions on how to gain power at work even when you have no leverage. What to do when you are judged on your team’s performance but you lack actual authority or resources? 3 ways to gain power:
- Build a strong network. How? Ask questions. Show respect, interest, and enthusiasm. Create positive energy (e.g., by praising good work), and help others reach a goal. When you positively influence others, managers see you as a role model and a high performer. (A 2016 study cited in the Harvard Business Review found employees with strong internal networks were judged to be high performers.) Indeed, a senior legal executive at a leading company told me a key factor in deciding whether to promote is how highly peers regard him or her.
- Build expertise in a growing area. Look for an area lacking experts and/or resources, and volunteer to help solve the problem. I know a junior lawyer who did exactly this, and was promoted within a year.
- Learn to be charismatic. The article insists it’s learnable — be the best version of yourself, and focus on others. Show warmth and empathy. (See my old blog on this point, where studies have shown you are first judged on your warmth before competence.)