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Influence without Authority “Lateral Leadership”. MaineHealth Physician Leadership Development June, 2008 Robert McArtor, MD. Introduction. Purpose Assist physician leaders to be more effective and personally satisfied with your work Goals for Participants

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influence without authority lateral leadership

Influence without Authority“Lateral Leadership”


Physician Leadership Development

June, 2008

Robert McArtor, MD



Assist physician leaders to be more effective and personally satisfied with your work

Goals for Participants

  • Define “Influence” and “Authority”
  • Describe and put to use an Influence Model
  • Develop a useful framework for a comprehensive approach to building influence
previous experience with exerting influence what worked or not
Previous experience with exerting influence: What worked or not

Group Discussion

  • Describe prior situations in which you attempted to exert influence that went well and some that did not
  • What were the factors that helped or hindered?
  • What did you learn?
why an influence model
Why an Influence Model?
  • The days of the solo decision maker in health care are over (a few still suffer “mural dyslexia”)
  • Collaboration and partnerships are the key
  • TEAMS, informal and formal, are here to stay
  • The concept of give and take is generally simple and straightforward
  • The processof exchange is more complicated
influence model core premises
Influence Model: Core Premises
  • Influence is about trades

--enhancing trades is not always immediate

  • Relationships matter
  • Influence at work requires:
    • you know what you are doing
    • have reasonable plans
    • are competent at the task at hand
influence model core premises cont
Influence Model: Core Premises(Cont.)
  • You have to want influence for the ultimate good of the organization
  • Your difficulty with influence often rests with you
  • Just about everyone is potentially much more influential than they think they are
external barriers to influence
External Barriers to Influence
  • Power differential is too high
  • Different goals, objectives, priorities
  • Incompatible measures and rewards
  • Rivalry, competitiveness, jealousy
  • Others?
internal barriers to influence
Internal Barriers to Influence
  • Lack of knowledge about how to influence
  • Blinding attitudes
  • Fear of reactions
  • Inability to focus on own needs and benefits to others
  • Others?
the influence model the law of reciprocity
The Influence Model:The Law of Reciprocity

“It is not always evident when you are going to make a withdrawal from the favor bank of politics…but it is always obvious you are making a deposit”

  • How can you influence those over whom you have no authority?

The short answer is that to have influence, you need resources that other people want, so that you can trade for what you want

the law of reciprocity
The Law of Reciprocity

Group Discussion

  • What resources do physicians and physician leaders have that others may want and/or need?
goods and services the currencies of exchange
Goods and Services:The Currencies of Exchange
  • What is valued in your organization?

Examples: Vision, mission, excellence, expertise, assistance, information, personal support, reputation, gratitude, etc.

How to know what they want:

Understanding their worlds

  • What does your Potential Ally value?

Examples: Job tasks, measures and rewards, their concerns and worries, work and communications style,

primary interactions, etc.

you have more to offer than you think what are your goals priorities and resources
You Have More to Offer Than You Think:What areYour Goals, Priorities, and Resources?
  • Be explicit about what you want to achieve and why
  • Be clear about what you want from each person and group you seek to influence and prioritize needs
  • Be flexible about achieving goals
  • Overcome reluctance to assert legitimate claims and be clear and direct about what you need
building effective relationships the art of finding and developing allies
Building Effective Relationships:The Art of Finding and Developing Allies
  • Adapt to your potential ally’s preferred work style

Examples: where and how to present your ideas

  • When the relationship is “poor” yet needs improved

-check your own attitudes and behavior

-assess others behavior--Do you know their world?

-alter your strategy for working on the relationship

  • Openly and directly discuss poor relationships
  • Build relationships before “problems” occur
team exercise
Team Exercise
  • Form teams for the exercise
  • Teams review the vignette
  • Quickly identify the most important factors to consider
  • Develop a plan for exerting and/or developing influence
  • Have group spokesperson report “headlines” to the group
  • Allan R. Cohen and David L. Bradford, Influence without Authority (Hoboken:John Wiley & Sons, 2005)
  • John P. Potter, Power and Influence (New York: The Free Press, 1985)
  • John P. Potter, What Leaders Do (A Harvard Review Business Book,1999)
  • Lauren Keller Johnson, “Exerting Influence Without Authority,” Harvard Management Update (December 2003)