Author Dr. Blaine Lee is an associate of Stephen R. Covey and vice president of Franklin Covey Company. If you appreciate Dr. Covey’s books including Principle-Centered Leadership or The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you will want this book! Blaine Lee discusses what he terms the power principle, which has the potential to significantly impact all of our relationships in and out of the workplace.
In a nutshell this power principle is defined as learning to influence with honor. Dr. Lee begins the book by discussing the relationship between power and influence. Most societies and cultures use two fundamental power strategies to influence others and achieve efficiency. The first power strategy is one of forced coercion. People do things because they are afraid not to. The person in authority has the “ability to intimidate or bully people, to do something unpleasant or uncomfortable to other people.” The second option is that of a fair exchange approach. People do what they are told because of what the person in authority can do for them. They offer their services because “I will pay you if you’ll do what I want. I have something to exchange for your time and effort…I’ve got something you want, you’ve got something I want. Let’s make a deal.” Blaine explains how these two approaches may be efficient but long-term they are not effective or productive.
The Power Principle offers a third approach to power strategy. It is predicated on a number of core principles clearly discussed by Dr. Lee. This is a different kind of power since it “suggests that the person you believe is powerful is someone others believe in, someone they honor, someone they respect.” When others honor you, you have the ability to have sustained, long-term influence with them. The second 2/3rds of the book discusses why the power principle makes a difference, what they are, and how to use this strategy with your family, customers and coworkers. The final chapters deal with making a commitment to change and the power principle a lifelong quest.
This is an outstanding work and makes an excellent companion to Dr. Covey’s highly respected principle-centered philosophy.
A Fireside Book (Simon & Schuster), New York, 1997 (363 pages in paperback)
Author Blaine Lee
weLEAD rating highly recommended
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