Copyright 2005 by Ann Vanino
All rights reserved in all media.
By Ann Vanino

“The best leaders are those who understand power and people.
They use this knowledge to make the world a better place. Leaders
guide, mentor, organize, inspire and lead.” ~ Ann Vanino

How well do you understand people and power? To lead effectively in business, an awareness of both is crucial. Understanding people involves studying the way people work: what they want in return for their work, how they work best, what hampers them, their individual styles, what attitudes and perceptions they bring to work, how they interact with a team and the nature of their hopes, dreams and desires. Do you know leaders who understand people? Truly effective leaders use this knowledge for the betterment of those who work for them. Often, leaders who appreciate people build effective teams. They know how to hire the best people. They can motivate people to work well together. They can communicate effectively with their team.

Understanding power involves studying the nature of power and how people use it: how things get done, the subconscious attitudes and perceptions that affect personal interactions, how to influence people, and what needs to be done to get where you want to go. Do you know leaders who comprehend power? Truly effective leaders use this knowledge to get things done.

Often, leaders who understand power are successful in reaching their goals. They can quickly determine the playing field and make the best moves. They inspire others to success. They can overcome obstacles as they move forward.

Understanding both people and power does not always go hand in hand. The leader who has knowledge of people but not of power becomes ineffective. If they focus only on their team members and do not keep their teams moving successfully towards their goals, they lose. The leader who knows only to wield power may have a vision and know how to reach their goals but cannot build and motivate a team to get things done. What happens when leaders have an understanding of both people and power? WOW! You have a special leader that can motivate people and lead them to success.

Understanding both power and people is a dance. A leader must choreograph the building of an effective team and the mapping of a winning strategy. They must constantly keep sight of team member needs and what must be done to reach their goal. The effective leader is always working on both.

Author's Bio: 

Ann Vanino is a Coach and Consultant with a passion for seeing clients create fulfilling careers, master change and transition, understand power, and grow their leadership skills. Ann is the author of Power Stories: Mythical Tales of Personal Power at Work and Leadership on Trial: Lessons from The Apprentice. Ann writes The Leadership Blog at . You can learn more about Ann and her work at Ann can be reached at or 661-992-8130.