People Don't Quit Their Jobs, They Quit Their Bosses

The Foundation

EQUAtion mockup 4

The Formula to Influence

The strongest and most fragile source of leadership power is born from personal power (also called reverent power). This type of power is not given to you by your bosses, rather it is granted to you by your followers.  It is the thrust of your influence. Let’s tease out how personal power is the formula to influential leadership:

  • Authority.  The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.
  • Influence.  The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.

Influence comes from your personal power (PP). Personal power alone is fleeting.  It must accompany other sources of power (ie. connection, information, reward, coercive, etc.). Your followers grant to you your personal power. While the other sources of power are established by superiors or an authority.  It is arguably the toughest power to obtain because it is emotional and irrational among humans.  Personal power stems from trust that only comes from relationship-building.

How do I dial-in in my personal power? 

Here’s my take. Personal power is gained from being authentic.  Those that wield a heavy amount of personal power are confident, vulnerable, and empathetic.  They are heavy communicators and share information when they know it.  Most people that have a tremendous amount of personal power are optimists, but it’s not compulsory.  Followers that grant personal power connect with their leader’s values.  There is an incredible amount of trust that is freely granted.  They feel comfortable with their personally set boundaries which are relative to that individual relationship. Those with personal power have also established themselves with expertise or experience in their fields.  They have a reputation for their willingness to assist others.  And finally, they secure wins for the team.

Personal power underpins effective leadership qualities.


Lead with 4Cs:

  • Character.  The strength and originality in a person’s nature.  A person’s good reputation
  • Competence.  The ability to do something successfully or efficiently.
  • Courage.  The quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty.
  • Collaborate.  To work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something.

Lead with EQ:

  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ).  The capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and with empathy.