There are two big parts to most of our lives: work and the time left over, which I will generously call play.
Power and influence feature prominently in both of them, and a little help in both areas can make it somewhat easier to live. Power Plays are the tactics we use to get the things we want. And the best Power Players do this with panache and style.
Some of these Power Plays are purely work-related, some sit in the wider world and some – well, I just don’t know where they fit, but they’re good and useful.
For some time, Rose Herceg has been stockpiling stories from work, play, life and love that have at their core the theme of power.
Having captured her imagination, a number of Power Plays and supporting stories feature in her recently published title, The Power Book, which we will be running excerpts from over the coming weeks.
Power Play: Blend into the crowd when you need to
The best leaders don’t wear their power openly when it isn’t required and always remember how attractive an egalitarian approach can be.
Power Players need to know when to stand alone and when to blend into the crowd. Blending in is sometimes necessary to be a generous and benevolent leader, because people who work for Power Players need to cut loose from time to time.
Take, for example, the notorious Christmas party: no one wants to have to worry about the boss taking notes on behaviour.
A smart Power Player would do one of two things: blend into the crowd or, better still, leave the party so everyone else can let their hair down.
The best ones don’t wear their power openly when it isn’t required and always remember how attractive an egalitarian approach can be.
Knowing when to be one of the guys is a big part of being a successful Power Player.
A great boss did the post-pitch win pub crawl with everybody else. The behaviour was outrageous: the jokes were offensive (but very funny) and crazy things were happening all over the place.
The boss didn’t pull seniority and was simply one of the crew, and when things got really dicey he decided it was time to call it a night.
Pulling rank when there’s no rank makes no sense, and if you want to be a great Power Player you’ve got to learn to blend in.