Oneof the most important things to a good leader I learned from this class is aboutthe leader’s personal power. If we say someone has his or her personal power, he or she is capable in getting people to work because of their experience, knowledge, charisma, or access to information. I personally also more and morerealize that the good leaders are believed to be the most influential, and theyare actually the people who work their personal power, but not people who just relyon the power of the job title. We can see that influence usually comes when aperson exercises the power of who they are as a person. As time goeson, the “ who you are” will impact a person’s dailyactions, which is how you want to treat other people, especially when youthink that nobody is actually looking. People’s traits such as honesty, fairness, and compassion are able to help people build up a leader’s personal power. Iused to believe that for leaders or managers, on one hand, since most of them areachievement-motivated who focus on their personal improvement, they would liketo do the work by themselves, especially in the result-oriented workenvironment.
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On the other hand, like other employees, they also hope to getsome short-term feedback on their work performance or evaluation, and then theycan make other people understand which jobs they have completed and how goodthey are doing their jobs. However, based on my observation, I found leaders ormanagers in a medium or large company, instead of performing all the tasks bythemselves, they prefer to have others such as their subordinates to worktogether for the company. As a result of that, those managers need to do theirjobs without getting some personal and immediate feedback because tasks havebeen assigned to a lot of employees.
For example, for a senior project managerin my company, it seems like his job is to focus on more finding project staffswho are able to or know how to persuade or influence other employees not thosewho just can do things better alone by themselves at the corner of the office. Now I think that is absolutely right after taking this class. So as an employeein a company I can realize that a professional leader or company top manager usuallypossess a real high need for power instead of focusing on getting the achievementas soon as possible, which is actually very important to their management work. Of course, that need has to be controlled, so it can be finally directed to thewhole company’s benefit, which is the situation the boss wants to see. Itis not difficult for me to understand now that as the most effective leaders ormanagers, they are able to develop one of the most important skills that is topersuade and influence people all the time to help them get the things done orthe things they want. The managers can make use this ability to guarantee theirprogress and let them to use all of their other abilities at the high level. I am not a manager but I can learn from themabout how to persuade and influence people by their daily communication with others, how they can improve their personal power, and how they are able to get thethings they want faster than anything else they do. Well understanding how topersuade people also brings the managers the respect of the bosses, otheremployees, friends, and clients.
They gradually become the very importantpeople in the company, and they can then make use of the ability better andbetter. It is easy for the employees to notice that those managers’ job become moreexcellent at influencing and motivating other people to provide the support tothem in the achievement of their project objectives and the solving of theirproblems in that project, and the boss and coworkers become more and more trustthem. Influencing others looks like a kind of art, and the effective people areable to master that to get others to work with, and at the same time to improvethe personal power which canhelp better influence others. Considering the personal power, the differencebetween being powerful and being powerless can result the difference between beinginfluential and having little or maybe no influence at all on the otherpeople’s behaviors. After knowing somebasis of organizational human behavior, I become more aware that even somesimple human interaction can involve a complex process or combination ofpersuasion and influence.
In a company or even a small group, people can eitherpersuade other people to get help, or people could be persuaded to help theothers. I understand that for most of the employees, they are often the onesthat will be persuaded to help others, mostly for their managers. Outsidethe class I also tried to recall how the communication usually goes betweenthose leaders or managers and me, or the communication between the manager andthe other employees in a group in my company, and I start viewing those successfulpeople with personal power as the persuasion experts.
Like some seniormanagers in my company, they spend much time thinking about how they can getother people to help them. It is mentioned a lot in class that an individual’s actionis motivated by something. If persuasion is an art, the most important factorto this art is motivation. For most of the time, the managers would like tofind out what can really motivate the other people, and the managers will tryto provide them that necessary motivation, such as the desire for gain to wantmore money, respect, success, happiness and health. This is the key to persuadepeople successfully.
I also found they plan and strategize very carefully beforethey start acting even for the task assignment. They obviously have very cleardefinition of their goals, and then they are also clear about choosing which peopleto choose to have their cooperation to achieve those goals. Then they probablythink about what they may need to do in return to get the others to help them. So in my opinion, this is how the leaders are able to achieve their goalsthrough persuasion and influence indirectly, which is also the art I shouldstart getting familiar with and master in the future. Finally, I want to say I am very glad to have the opportunity totake this interesting elective course.
I think it is very useful for my futurecareer, and hope I can become a leader with the personal power one day. Thankyou Dr. Cleary!