January 31, 2018

8 Personal Power Bases You Might Not Realize You Have

Businessman fighter
8 Personal Power Bases You Might Not Realize You Have

Whether you’re seeking to advance your career or grow your business, making progress toward your goals can come down to your ability to enlist the help of others—often through activating one’s personal power bases. Perhaps you need to ask for a raise or a promotion, or maybe you need to request funding to kick off an exciting new project or cover the cost of new hires. Whatever the case, understanding how to get others on board is critical to achieving the outcome you’re hoping for. But if you’re low on the totem pole or just beginning to establish your fledgling business, asking others to reward you with money, time, or increased responsibility can feel like a David vs. Goliath scenario.

Don’t underestimate yourself, though: you may have a lot more personal power than you think. A person’s power bases are the sources from which they draw credibility, influence, and character, traits that can be assets when asking others to help your cause. Power bases can come in many forms, and you may have more than one effective power base to draw from. You simply need to learn how to identify your power bases and use them to your advantage. By recognizing the sources of your power, you can feel more confident as you ask for the things you need to achieve your goals.

Making progress toward your goals can come down to your ability to enlist the help of others. Click To Tweet

Personal Power Bases You May Not Realize You Have:


  1. Physical Power: Some people have an effect on others using nothing more than their physical presence. People who are very tall, muscular, or physically imposing, possess the power to inspire or motivate others simply through the space they occupy. If a giant, hulking wrestler tells you to get moving, you will!
  2. Resource Power: Power isn’t always about who you are. Sometimes, power can come from what you have access to. Obviously, political candidates who have access to large sums of money can be more influential than those who have no advertising budget at all. Resource power can also come from the people you know. Actors and aspiring directors in the Hollywood system have recognized that it’s all about “who you know” for decades. Knowing the right people or having the right insider information can be a game changer. As you create your strategy for growth, you should consider which relationships you may be able to lean on to give you an edge.
  3. Position Power: We all know that the boss is the one in charge. Position power comes from having authority over others. But you don’t have to be the CEO to exercise position power. Having seniority in your role at an organization, for instance, could be a source of position power.
  4. Expert Power: Having a specialized college degree, a unique set of skills or experience, or knowledge specific to a role or project could offer you expert power you can use to your advantage. Expert power encompasses your qualifications and you may possess more expert power than you realize. As you seek out the things you need to take your career or company to the next level, think about the expertise and knowledge that will be valuable assets and boost your chances of success.
  5. Personality Power: The reputation you’ve built for being an honest, hardworking, leader might also be a factor in your ability to influence others. Personality power comes from one’s character. It’s easy to see how people with natural charisma can capture the attention of a room and inspire others. By the same token, even if you’re not a superstar, aspects of your personality might offer huge advantages as you seek to grow your career or business. Perhaps you are extremely friendly and likable, or maybe you can tell a good joke. These same character traits that make you easy to get along with might also make you an appealing job candidate or business partner. Don’t forget to call on your sparkling personality when it’s time to impress others.
  6. Information Power: This kind of power comes from what you know or information that only you have access to. An example of information power might be someone who has gathered a large amount of valuable data through research of some kind. Consider those white papers companies use to gather prospects for their businesses. Companies know that readers and potential clients will want access to the information they’ve gathered, so they use that information power to request customer contact information in exchange for that data. What valuable information might you have that you can offer in exchange for the opportunities or funding you’re looking for?
  7. Reward Power: People who have the power to reward or bonus someone else have this kind of power. A manager has the power to promote an employee who performs well, or a parent can reward a well behaving child with extra spending money or a trip to Disneyland. When you are a customer, you have the power to reward companies, products, and salespeople by giving them your business. While trying to grow your business, you can use your power to reward your employees to incentivize them to push even harder to help your company reach its goals.
  8. Network Power: Remember all that time you’ve spent shaking hands and collecting business contacts? Building a strong network has boosted your power to influence, because you can now call on those connections to support you in any number of ways. Clients can provide testimonials that will add credibility. Mentors can offer valuable advice to help you overcome challenges, or a connection might call you first when an opportunity arises to submit a proposal. Your network power is one of the sources of power you can most easily grow and impact, so don’t overlook the importance of building strong relationships.
Recognizing your personal power is critical to collaborating with others and asking for resources you need. Click To Tweet

Recognizing your personal sources of power is critical to your ability to collaborate with others and ask for the resources and opportunities you’ll need to grow your company and advance your career. It’s easy to underestimate oneself and overlook how much you have to bring to the table. Success in business requires constant negotiation, and by understanding your own power to get others on your side, you improve your chances of achieving the results you’re hoping for and reaching your goals.


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