We never have enough personal power or authority to perform our work. If you're an individual contributor, you can always see problems that require you to work across the organization--which means you need to use influence. If you are a technical lead, project manager, or a manager of some variety, you know you need to influence people. But how?
Relying on your title is a weak form of power. Having someone like your boss vouch for you is a better form of power. A recommendation or a reference is even better. Recommendations that live on forever, such as those on LinkedIn are great.
But the best form of personal power is when you have a reputation as someone who gets things done around the organization. You deliver and deliver and deliver. Now, you don't have to be agile to do this. You can use the idea of inch-pebbles
to do this.
But, you can't just get things done. You also have to tell
people you accomplish work. Yes, you have to blow your own horn. Not too loudly, but loudly enough.
Now, you've started to accumulate personal power.
I learned this from Jeffrey Pfeffer's Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don't.
There is a lot more in this book. Some I agree with, some I don't. But I thought this part, the delivering and delivering part, to build your personal power was great.
So, to start building your personal power to be more influential, you have to deliver something. And keep delivering. I recommend something a few times a week. Can you do that? That's why inch-pebbles are so great. Or, agile works so well.
In the next part, I'll discuss how you use your personal power to influence others.