Recent research findings on Influence, Power and Control

March 18, 2020


A person of influence in the modern society


According to numerous analyses, being a person of influence in the workplace helps get promoted, receive pay raise and advance various projects. Yet, as researchers acknowledge, presently it is much harder to become a person of influence than it has even been before. According to Nick Morgan, a well-known speaking coach, the reason for present-day challenges of influencing others can be found in the general information overload that leads to shorter attention spans. 



Influence & power


In his well-known book Influencing Up, Allan R Cohen stresses the importance of looking at one’s own self-limiting attitudes and behaviors as well as careful analysis of persons and groups one deals with as the preconditions of successfully influencing people and decisions. He poignantly remarks that we often erect our own barriers that prevent us from achieving the degree of influence we would like to possess and maintain.

One of such self-limiting attitudes is our belief in a negative image of power, understood as dictate or even dictatorship.



Positive and negative powers


Indeed, influence is closely related to the notions of power and authority. One of the important moments in the process of developing the quality of influence is to distinguish between positive and negative definitions of power and authority.

Positive power and influence is about persuading and convincing without dictating and controlling. It uses positive language and subtle behavior. It doesn’t force people to do something. Instead, it explains why a given task is important and encourages to do it good. Interestingly, control requires much more conscious (or even physical) effort than influence does.



Leadership with influence or authority?


Traditionally, the notions of power, influence and authority were intertwined. A powerful manager had both influence and authority, even if everything was executed through force and control. Recently, the concept of leadership without authority has been getting increasing attention. Such type of leadership is based on the ability of colleagues to influence, motivate and inspire their teams without extortion of any formal power or authority. In other words, individual leaders of specific projects naturally emerge and coordinate a given project. It is a fluid leadership, which proves to increase teams’ motivation, engagement and work enthusiasm.  



How to become a person of good influence?


To a great extent, we are all born influencers. The challenge is to discover and expend our personal sphere of influence and to understand to what type of influencer each of us belongs. Overall, however, the receipt of influential leadership at work is simple:


-          Build positive relations and personal connections with your colleagues;


-          Be attentive and respectful to their suggestions and their concerns;


-          Underline your attention and respect with your body language;


-          Become a true expert in what you do and share this knowledge with others.



Do managers agree?


Recently, I have asked those of my clients and industry leaders who wished to complete the online course on Influence to participate in the online survey. I was overwhelmed by the number and depth of responses!


The change of perception on what does it mean (and what it takes) to be a person of influence has been clearly seen in the survey responses given by my clients. In various ways they have signaled the understanding that the “old” ways and “imposed” approaches no longer work in modern day companies and enterprises. The true leadership requires a mixture of skills, emotional intelligence and deep professional experience. True leaders lead by example. It is not a simple way; as great potential of influential leadership goes hand in hand with high challenge of such endeavor.


Even though the perception of influential leadership is highly positive among the respondents, many of them feel they do not have enough knowledge and skills to exercise this type of leadership in the context of their companies and teams. 


Keeping an influential state of mind during turbulent times is highly important to be prepared for any scenario, make right decisions and support your family. 



Crisis is the best time to self-reflect and to invest in your education. In Gross Leadership we continue building our clients’ confidence during crisis times to be fit for the current challenges and the future. Most demanded topics: how to keep my job and stay relevant at all times, how to keep the peace of mind, how to lead my team remotely, how to be confident during lifestreaming, how to get out of the crisis as a winner.  


Here in Gross Leadership we are doing our best to help you in the crisis period and continue our client work online. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube to discover valuable information during our live sessions.


“All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players…”


(W. Shakespeare, As You Like It)


We believe that each and every one of us is not only a leading actor but first and foremost a writer of our own destiny. Overwhelmed by life events, we may unintentionally forget that we are the sole playwrights of our own lives. We may even unwittingly drop or lose the thread of our unfolding life story. Then, we start questioning ourselves and let others do the writing for us. Doesn’t this happen to all of us occasionally? The best thing we can do is to resume the leadership as soon as we can: only we should write the play of our life!  


With the renewed confidence and new skills, we design new perspectives. Coaching and training are the best instruments we use to achieve this goal.




























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