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Turn Yourself Into a Powerful Leader
Powerful people are those that have the ability to command respect and influence others. For entrepreneurs, these two abilities are extremely important. They allow you to effectively lead your team or capture new sales or garner publicity.. the list goes on. So how can you increase your natural powers?
Stand or sit in a powerful way.
It has been known for a while that forcing yourself to smile can actually cause you to feel happier [read about an example here]. It’s the “fake it ’til you make it” idea, and it can apply to feeling powerful as well. In the below TED talk, Amy Cuddy explains how 2 minutes of striking a powerful pose can not only make others think you’re powerful, but it will also make you feel more powerful.
Taken from her talk, the following poses have shown to release this amazing effect:
So try incorporating some of these poses into your daily routine. It doesn’t even need to be when you’re around people. Also keep in mind that you don’t want to be overly powerful in all situations; sometimes a situation will call for more understanding and attentive body language. (Check out this witty video that points out some of these subtle differences.)
If you want something, ask for it.
It sounds so simple, but to actually put yourself out there is no easy feat. We fear being judged or denied our request, and that often stops us from even taking that first step. In elementary school I was always exposed to posters toting the famous Wayne Gretzky line: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take“, and although it may be overused, it is still extremely relevant. I’m not saying you should walk up to people and tell them to buy your product or demand that they write an article about your company… no. Show genuine interest in the person and give value before trying to take it – explain why you’re reaching out to them and how they can benefit from your proposal. You would be surprised at how willing people (even powerful people) are to lend a helping hand to someone that they enjoy talking to. Don’t believe me? Read blogger Jeff Goins’ personal story about how he asked for what he wanted.
Commit to being reliable.
This one is simple: nobody respects a leader who doesn’t follow through on promises. Your word is only as valuable as experience shows it to be, so don’t ever give someone a reason to doubt your abilities. On that note, make sure you don’t take on too many promises or ones that aren’t realistically achievable; set yourself up for success.
Dare to challenge the status quo.
As someone pursuing or contemplating entrepreneurship, you may already have a check mark beside this one. Conventional wisdom is conventional because the majority of people follow and abide by it. The thing is… leaders aren’t the majority of people. The leaders we look up to are willing to take the other route or try a different method. A great example comes from a McGraw Hill study during the recession which found that companies who actually increased their advertising budgets experienced 135% to 275% more sales growth compared to those companies who did the ‘normal’ thing and cut back. [Read more about this here.]
Continuously learn new things and share them with the world.
To throw in one last idiom: “Knowledge is power”. We like and respect those that are intelligent, and who use their smarts to better the people and world around them. Think about the last time you had to buy something expensive; you probably asked the opinion of a friend or family member who has specialized knowledge on the subject, and their response probably influenced your decision. Share what you know and others will follow your lead.
So with that, start looking at how you can make small changes to your daily habits. Take a few more risks in life, because you’ll never know unless you try. And of course, read as much as you possibly can. I recommend starting with an oldie but a goodie: the classic “How To Win Friends And Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.
Marketing Coordinator at Stryve Group