How to Accumulate Power
To succeed you need power.
How much power do you have? Your power includes the money and property you control. The number of people who you influence. The groups or businesses you control. The size of your game.
How you work with people determines the amount of power you get.
For example, Mr. Green is the CEO of a successful book publishing company in New York City. He is retiring and needs to recommend a new CEO to the Board of Directors. Mr. Green’s two best managers are Steve, who runs the printing division, and Melissa, who runs the editing division.
Steve has wanted to be the CEO for years. He tells his staff, “Someday, I’ll be running things and we’ll come out of the dark ages. Mr. Green’s a nice guy and all that, but he’s old.“
Melissa is also interested in the CEO job. She tells her staff, “Mr. Green is an outstanding leader. He’s taught me a great deal. If I become the CEO, I’ll start by running things like Mr. Green.”
Steve likes to disagree with Mr. Green. “You don’t want me to be a yes-man do you Mr. Green? We can’t always do things your way. I have better ideas.”
Melissa prefers to support Mr. Green. “Tell me what you want done and I’ll take care of it for you.”
Steve is shocked when Mr. Green recommends Melissa for the CEO position.
Who are your “powers”? Who do you depend on for your success? Certainly your boss, but also your customers, colleagues, partners, leaders of your groups, influential friends and others.
Everyone depends on others for their power. Bosses depend on their staff. Fathers depend on mothers. Young politicians depend on senior politicians as well as voters and financial contributors.
Who do you depend on? Who are the people who can help you? These are your “powers.”
Now examine how you treat these powers. Do you build them up or drag them down? Do you make them more powerful or less powerful. Do you give them ease or give them stress?
How you treat these people may have more to do with your success than you realize.
“Always push power in the direction of anyone on whose power you depend. It may be more money for the power or more ease or a snarling defense of the power to a critic.”
“If you work like that and the power you are near or depend upon is a power that has at least some inkling* about how to be one and if you make others work like that, then the power-factor expands and expands and expands and you too acquire a sphere of power bigger than you would have if you worked alone.” — L. Ron Hubbard (*inkling: a slight idea)
Some movie actors find it hard to share the spotlight. They think they will get ahead if they criticize others. When talking about a movie director, they say things like, “He was the toughest director I’ve ever worked for” or “She and I had artistic differences.” These actors are often out of work.
When John Travolta was promoting his movie Pulp Fiction, he constantly complimented and thanked writer/director, Quentin Tarantino. Who was John flowing power to? What happened to John’s career? It exploded! He became one of the busiest, best-paid actors in history.
Have you heard about assistants, secretaries and clerks who became millionaires? These workers flowed power to their bosses. When these bosses hit it big, they took care of their staffs. Since most bosses have an “inkling” of how to be a power, they love to share their success with those who help them succeed.
Employees who bite the hand that feeds them are soon looking for work. Staff who do not defend their bosses, when their bosses are attacked, see their workplace become stressful and unpleasant.
On the other hand, if you flow power to your powers, you make them happier and more successful. These powers then have the means and desire to help you. They can give you promotions, raises, freedoms, responsibilities and opportunities you would not otherwise receive. They can help you succeed in more ways than anyone else you know.
Ten Suggestions for Flowing Power to Your Powers
As long as your power has an inkling of how to be a power, these ten tips will make your own power base increase and increase.
1. Do a better job for your power than he or she expects. Surprise him or her with fast completions, incredible production and amazing results.
2. Support the power’s ideas and requests, whenever possible.
3. When the power offers you more responsibility, grab it. Do not hesitate or worry about the pay.
4. If you need to tell the power about a problem, include a solution as well. Better yet, solve the problem so you can relay the problem and the fact that it is now solved.
5. If you see your power is making a mistake, do not let him or her fail, but try to help your power. Provide the information he or she may be missing. Offer suggestions and solutions.
6. Never miss a chance to make a gesture of support. For example, insist on paying for the meal you share with a power, even if he or she is wealthier than you. Never forget the power’s birthday. Be as generous as you can be.
7. If you hear criticism about one of your powers, jump in and defend him or her. Change negative attitudes that others have about your power. Encourage them to support your power.
8. If your power is under stress, do what you can to reduce that stress. Help him or her become cheerful and optimistic. If the power is happy, everyone is happy!
9. If one of your powers is being attacked, take some of the heat. Get in front of your power and fight back. Do not let your power go down, or you too, will go down.
10. Help your power make more money. Yes, even if your power is wealthy, find ways to make him or her even wealthier. If your power’s income goes up, your income will go up.
Three Action Steps
1. Make a list of your powers. Who do you depend on for your success? Who can help you the most?
2. Write down three ways you can flow power to each of your powers.
3. If you then do these three things with each, and flow even more power after that, you will see your own power and success take a leap!