Influencing Powerful People – Thought Post #8

 In Influencing Powerful People

Here’s another quote, taken from Dirk Schlimm’s book –

“The terms balance and restraint rarely come up as descriptors of powerful people or are cited as reasons for their success.” 

This quote goes right to the heart of a major opportunity in business [and, in life]. To excel in business [and, in life] we must accept some bad things in order to obtain some good things. We all know this. We have known it since we were children and we heard [powerful] older folks talking about making sure they didn’t throw babies out with bathwater.

Now, as we are doing our business work, we encounter people who hold powerful positions yet appear to us to lack focus, go off on new-idea tangents, and change their minds in most-annoying ways. As we encounter these powerful people, some of us take a cynical stance. Some of us mutter about the powerful people being lucky rather than skilled, dysfunctional rather than talented, way over their heads, etc.

Dirk recommends a more productive approach.  When I read his advice, I think about seeking the strengths in powerful people. We should complement and emulate those strengths. Sure, we should also be aware of powerful people’s weaknesses. We should use our personal strengths to fill the gaps that exist because of powerful people’s weaknesses.

We should help our businesses gain advantage by drawing out the value embedded in differences.

Learning from powerful people, filling the gaps they create, and communicating effectively with them: Dirk teaches us how we can do these things.

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