Personal Power

You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.

— Richard Bach

Demonstrating authority, control and confidence in ways that influence action, command attention or gain agreement on how to get something done is Personal Power.

Personal Power is a type of influence that depends on how an individual presents himself or herself to others and how he or she manages relationships. Personal Power begins with a confidence and strength that is demonstrated through a variety of behaviors. Personal Power is evident with assertive, confident, forward-thinking statements that suggest competence, intelligence and ability. At times it may be seen as charisma or a striking personal presence. Another kind of power, position power, relies on the authority of position or title. While position power is often used in organizations to get things done, personal power is most useful when an individual lacks authority or wants to achieve cooperation and commitment, and not just compliance.

If any of these behaviors are true of you or associates with whom you work, you’ll find action tips at

  • Hypercritical of, or disinterested in, ideas of others (but finds own ideas fascinating!)
  • Over-reliance on a single source of influence (like authority or logic alone)
  • Lacks confidence in own personal power, especially if there is no official title of authority
  • Without direction — no vision or goal worth pursuing or advocating for
  • Misunderstands and misuses personal power
  • Fear of being seen as too directive or demanding, thus inhibiting influence and personal impact

Action learning tips and learning assignments on the job are a click away at

You might also consider (a sampling of suggestions from ):

Robbins, Anthony. Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement. New York: Free Press, 1997.

Roman, Sanaya. Personal Power Through Awareness: A Guidebook for Sensitive People. Tiburon, CA: H.J. Kramer, 1986.

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