The best of Power Play

Entrepreneur, strategist and author Rose Herceg always has something interesting to say in her regular column Power Play. Here’s the best of Power Play for your reading pleasure:

If you don’t have style, buy it

The ones who are no good at dressing well and looking good don’t give up. They simply buy the style they need. They enlist a tailor or somebody to go shopping with them and to help them buy the right wardrobe for their body shape and job. Or they go to a great stylist who can recommend a new haircut.

Style matters. Whoever preaches that ‘it’s only what’s on the inside that matters’ is full of hooey.

Style tells the world that you have good taste and a discerning eye. What you wear matters too. It always has and it always will. Even the grungy-dressing rock stars are making a point.

Power Players know that if you don’t feel like a million bucks (usually because they don’t look like a million bucks) the day will be a lot harder to handle. Stop being noble about this; the superficial matters. Make peace with it and address it.

Put that hard-earned money to good use and look as good as you can. Make people wish that they had that suit or that dress or that outfit when you walk into a room. Own it and feel good about yourself in the process. It really does work.

Give feedback on the spot

Power Players are terrific at incorporating feedback the moment it’s required. Not stockpiling or waiting for that so-called appropriate moment that may never come.

Power Players know that helping good talent become great talent is the way to keep the best minds around and it’s also the right thing to do.

If you intend on becoming a real Power Player, seize every opportunity to give constructive advice to those who seek your guidance and counsel.

The trick here of course is to do it with kindness and tact. Giving feedback gently is a talent that the best Power Players hone early on in their careers, and they know that the best lessons happen in the moment.

On the spot feedback is gold and Power Players will grow a loyal team who seek their help and incorporate their lessons into their daily work. On the spot is where it happens.

Get comfortable with constructive anger

Power Players have a healthy attitude towards anger.

Not the crazy, destructive kind that ends up in handcuffs, but the kind where you need to express how you feel so that resolution can ensue.

Honest anger is much better than passive aggression (you know the awful kind where you ask someone how they are and they tell you they are fine but they are actually pretty pissed off).

When Power Players are angry, they say so. They do it immediately – and most importantly of all – calmly. Constructive anger can achieve a great deal in an office environment. It can tell your team that you are very disappointed and that their work or behaviour (or whatever it might be) falls short.

Anger isn’t a dirty word. It is an important emotion and one that is usually misunderstood and hidden away.

We all feel anger from time to time and many of us shy away from admitting this truth. Power Players see it as part of the human condition and a realistic reaction in the workplace. If it leads to honest feedback that can lead to a solution, it’s a good thing. Good anger – get comfortable with it, like the best Power Players do.

Give great email

Power Players are the greatest email givers this side of the information superhighway.

Whether it’s pith that’s required or a cracking one-liner, Power Players send the most fantastic emails.

You know you’re in the presence of a Power Player if someone has one of the Power Players’ emails printed out and stuck on their wall.

The usual sign is that they write their emails in headlines. Smart, wry, funny and warm. If email scares you or if you shy away from the medium, start practising now.

The best email I ever got from a Power Player contained one word: “freak”.

I emailed an important document at 3am that had been written in one night and that was the response I received. Perfect. Funny. Warm. And a little bit admiring.

Power Players keep the emails short and funny. Ditch the War and Peace stuff. And get erudite and pithy. It will elevate you from a ‘potential’ to a ‘sure thing’ Power Player.

Absence can be very powerful

Power Players know that sometimes not turning up can be more effective than being in the room.

If there are people on the team who need refereeing and the Power Player they look to for resolution doesn’t turn up, they are forced to sort it out themselves.

Power Players are well versed in using absence wisely. Not only can it make the heart grow fonder but it also proves that other saying that “less is more”.

Power Players don’t need to be everywhere all the time. They limit their appearances when it can make a powerful statement or allow others to step up.

On the flipside of this, when you are in the room, be present. There’s nothing worse then a person who is physically in a room but who’s really not there. This is why Power Players choose absence wisely. There’s always a reason and a purpose for their absence. And when they choose to be there, they really are.

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