Overcoming Assumed Constraints: Activating Your Points of Power

We all want to achieve our professional dreams, but a lot of stuff can get in the way. Often, we label that stuff as a blocker to success, whether it’s an external factor (e.g., no time, no money, lack of resources, an ongoing pandemic) or an internal factor (e.g., don’t know enough, not enough influence, not feeling ready). These blockers—or constraints—can really get us down and be used as a crutch for not realizing greatness or achieving our goals.

But is the constraint real or assumed? Internal factors—that negative internal dialogue, that excuse, the blame game, the internal swirl—often are assumed. There are ways forward. And there are skills you can master to help get out of your head and get out of your own way.

For instance, let’s think about influence and power. In The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Self Leadership program, participants learn how to develop the mindset and skillset needed to become proactive self-starters who know how to ask for direction and support, solicit feedback, and sell their solutions. A key concept is to become a proactive self leader who can identify and activate your points of power.

Yes, you activate! You look for where you have influence and power and find ways to harness that energy for the greater good. Here are descriptions of the five points of power:

  1. Position Power: When you hold a position managing people or controlling resources.
  2. Personal Power: Your character, passion, persistence, charisma, and wisdom, enhanced by interpersonal skills like being a persuasive communicator.
  3. Task Power: The ability to help or delay the completion of a task.
  4. Knowledge Power: Having expertise or skills in a particular area. We’re all good at something, so we all have some form of knowledge power.
  5. Relationship Power: This comes from associating with others—having a mentor or champion or being a personal friend of someone in power.

Where is your power? What can you do that others cannot? Take a moment and outline your strengths in each point.

One word of encouragement: don’t be timid about claiming your points of power—especially when your intention is to help others and bring good into the world. I hope you’ll find the exercise to be uplifting. Success awaits!

PS: Want to learn more about becoming more proactive in determining your success at work? Check out information on a new 6-week Self Leadership Online Collaborative Course to develop a self-starting mindset so you can take the reins, achieve your goals, and accelerate your development.

About the Author

Britney Cole is Associate Vice President, Solutions Architecture and Innovation Strategy at The Ken Blanchard Companies. With more than 15 years’ experience in organization development, performance improvement, and corporate training across all roles, Britney brings a pragmatic and diverse perspective to the way adults desire to learn on the job.

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