The High Impact Potential of Informal Influence

An Executive Forum White Paper By Frank Wagner
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“Like many professionals today, you may often be asked to influence in situations where you lack formal authority. Results in these situations will be achieved only with the willing cooperation of others. In other words, your success is interdependent with others. People may or may not choose to act interdependently. This creates both a challenge and an opportunity for informal leadership.

In its simplest form, leadership is the process of influence. In essence, every attempt we take to influence is an attempt to lead. Since power is our influence potential, it is useful to think about power in assessing our likelihood of success as an influencer. The actual success we experience while influencing is directly related to the power others give us. If someone thinks you lack power, you don’t have it. If they think you have power, then you do. So, it is what people perceive that guides their actions.”