Right Use Of Power At the Women and Leadership July Conference 2012

Power is an oft quoted and less understood component of business performance. The right use of power, when judiciously applied, can provide optimum business results. The right use of power can dramatically improve the bottom line of any business entity.

In order to use power ethically in the business landscape it is necessary for the individual to develop an awareness of the concept of power and what it means to them, how it impacts on their lives, both in business and personally, and to develop skills to enhance the right or ethical use of power.

Women leaders have traditionally had an ambivalent attitude to power. Masculine models of power have been adopted as the benchmark for women executives for decades. This is starting to shift as women (and men) explore their relationship with power and begin to own their individual styles. It is important to be intentional about what you are seeking as a woman leader. There is no single model of power that works for everyone. The key is to understand the impact of one’s actions on the other and to be cognisant of the appropriateness of such actions. Ultimately we all have choice. If respect and self responsibility are exercised then the right use of power will follow.

The right use of power is achieving what you want without the use of manipulation, coercion, or other more subtle and elusive forms of power. True power lies in clarity and conviction. Finding and articulating your passion and purpose will allow you to stand in your power. Right use of power requires you to be comfortable with your power, face your fears and act with power. No one will willingly step aside and cede their power to you. You have to step forward and take it yourself.

At the Women and Leadership Conference I will explore with business leaders in both corporate and public sector organisations a common understanding of power and the necessity for the ethical use of power.

Participants will have in common the position of middle to senior manager. In this context, use of power will cover a broad spectrum of experience. Each participant will have power attributable to his or her position or role. How they view this however, will depend on a combination of their work and personal histories.

It is the very complexity of the evolved business environment that leads to the need to understand more clearly power and it’s uses. Frequently leaders and managers have a different understanding of the nature of power. To this end it is critical for conference participants to start with a shared understanding of power, it’s definition and origin, followed by an understanding of the impact of power on self and others. Only then are such participants able to explore the right use of power.

Typically participants from business backgrounds have been required to function in analytical, head based paradigms, and often at speed. The conference will provide an opportunity for participants to work at their own pace and observe and build their facility with, and use of, power across the two days. The conference will create an environment where leaders and leaders in waiting can practice, practice, practice their newfound skills and techniques.

A key component of power is to identify and build strategic relationships. Conference participants will expand their networks, in an environment conducive to the exploration of ideas and skills development. They will enhance their own outcomes and their organisation’s business performance.

Ultimately we are responsible for our use of power. As leaders it is incumbent upon us to exercise that power in a conscious and ethical manner, courageously standing in our greatness.

Jenny Morawska
Conference Director
16th May 2012

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