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Friday, October 28, 2011

Lean Quote: True Power is Worth Having

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"True power means being as strong as you need to be and no stronger." — Meryl Runion

True is real power.  It's not power over anyone.  It's not control of anyone. It's not power you take. It's a power with others, a power of influence, and a power freely given to you.  This kind of power enables you to say what you mean and mean what you say without being mean when you say it.

Search the word "power" on thesaurus.com and the first definition you'll find is competence. The second is capacity. The third is control. I like the first two definitions and the third as long as the control is self-control.  Here are some tips to help embrace your true power:

1. Become unflappable.
Don't confuse a strong reaction with power.  If someone can provoke you, then they have power over you. Master your own emotions, reactions, and choices.

2. Commit to life-long learning.
You're not done learning just because you finished school.  You'll become irrelevant is you stop learning.  Read at least a half hour each day, explore developments in your field, and be a continuous learner.  Then, share your knowledge to help others achieve their objectives.

3. Be a visionary.
Don't limit yourself to the confines of others people's thinking, what has already been done, and what's wrong. Powerful people spend more time talking about possibilities than limitations. Consider and communicate new perspectives, things as they could be, and possibilities. Elevate every conversation to the broader context.

4. Curry favor.
It's not unethical or "sucking up" to seek to win the hearts, minds, and support of colleagues and supervisors. It's only unethical if you are insincere in your efforts. Deliberately build alliances, connect, and bond. People like to support people who support them.

5. Practice patience.
Don't think you need to win every battle. The battle you win could cost you a war. Consider long term objectives when choosing what to do. True power is built over time.

True power means being as strong as you need to be and no stronger.  Meryl Runion says "The louder you talk, the less they hear." Power is not about throwing your weight around and making a lot of noise.  It's about getting results.

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