50. Influence - Authority

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/50. Influence - Authority

50. Influence - Authority


Of all the levers of influence, perhaps none is as powerful as authority.

We are programmed from a young age to obey and listen to the authorities. To be subservient when ordered to do something by someone that is in charge.

There are numerous ways that you can leverage authority within your own company, far from simply “because I said so”. Mandated authority is the least effective long term, and could bring negative implications to your own relationship with your subordinates.

However, if we flip things around and leverage authority in a positive manner, the sky's the limit in how we can apply this principle to our team leadership.

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Hello, welcome to this episode of smooth operator, thank you so much for joining me, as we were nearly wrapped up with going through Robert Cialdini, his book Influence The Science of persuasion, and we get to our next lever of influence today, which is that of authority. So we've been exploring this now for a couple weeks and just going through all these one at a time. And just kind of reiterate, why are we looking at this because as a team leader, as someone in leadership, if you're an operator, you're in leadership, people are looking to you, they're depending on you to make decisions. They're, they're following you.

And fall, having followers means you need to develop your leadership skills, it's not it's not a choice. You need to have leadership skills. And part of that is leveraging influence. It's getting people to follow you. Because we do not live in a world where people will simply bark at your commands and do whatever you say, because you say it, that's not good enough. When you leverage influence, people want to follow you, people want to do what you say. People want to do it without even you having to order them to do it. You know, that's the great thing about this society that we're in, and it's great. But it means we need to be very conscious about that, and employ different strategies to gain leverage to gain influence to persuade people. And there's so many ways to do that. And we've been going through that these last couple of weeks. And that brings us to this week's principle authority. So this is just part of our modern society, that there is a case of obedience to authority, we accept systems of authority, and that actually gives us an immense advantage as a society. respect for authority has allowed for development of sophisticated structures, to develop resources, trade, defense, expansion, social control, governments, all operate off of authority. And we are actually trained as birds were socially conditioned to obey authority that proper authority is right. And disobedience is wrong.

And we actually realized that obedience to authority is rewarding. You know, you get rewards when you're obedient to authority.

So how can we employ this because, you know, you can play that on the boss game all you want. Let me know how far they get to only take you so far. So there's some other things that we can use. To more convey our authority. The first thing I'll just say is presence. How do you know when someone's in charge? They're the one talking. They're the one giving the information out. They're the one fielding questions. They're the ones solving things. You're gaining authority, just through your actions. When someone needs something done, you're the one to do it. So always being in action mode, always being in Problem Solver mode. The person who everyone can rely on gives you a sense of authority. Okay, they know you are the responsible one who's available, who will follow through, who will make sure they are given what they need. There's also a couple other ones that we'll go through.

So the I would recommend reading the child Dini book on this topic. It goes really, really dark really, really quick. About a medical experiment that was being done. Yeah, I won't reiterate it because it's, it's kind of creepy David say. But the point of the study was that we all have a great degree of obedience to authority even under areas where we are not comfortable with it and And an interesting thing that was unveiled in the research I'd be really interested to read further research from today is that it continued on no matter what the age group, if an age group, for example, younger age groups, we tend to think of as Oh, they are not as susceptible to authority, Chow Dini, in his research prove that incorrect. And this was written after the 70s, you know, with the whole, you know, 70s movement. And yet still, the young people who had come out of the 70s still had that obedience to authority. They didn't think they would in their survey results prior to some of the experiments. But in actuality, their behavior and their survey results were two different things. Which is interesting. I find that incredibly interesting. All right, so one of the other levers that we can pull is titles. So Chow, Dini mentions that titles are simultaneously the most difficult and the easiest symbols of authority to acquire.

Because to earn one normally takes years of work and achievement. And in our own businesses, we've either been given or given ourselves titles that convey just that, that we're in charge. To be Director of Operations operator, Chief, operating officer, CEO, you name it, all of these things give ourselves a little bit of authority, just by nature of our title. I think it's actually one of the weaker ones, because you can flash that about all you want. And it's kind of blatant in your face. That being said, there's something to be said about the title matching your output, what are you doing on the team, your title should match that and actually give you room to grow? I think one of the things that we tend to do too much, especially in online small businesses, is give titles a little too quickly. So if I hear see, oh, like that means something to me, when I think see, oh, I think of a large organization 500 plus people, like you're actually in the C suite and what the C suite means the kind of authority and oversight and number of people working under you means. And I would tend to maybe step that back a little bit, set that back into a more manageable title that is more properly conveying of what you do. That is not only for the here and now of what you're doing. But also because as you advance in responsibility, as you advance in number of people that are working under you, your position should raise as well. So when the company grows, and you take on a higher position with greater responsibility, Your title should change with it. So by not shooting for the moon and naming yourself as CEO when the company has four people, like I would shy away from that, and instead Operations Manager head of operations, something to convey the fact that you are indeed charge in charge.

From a team perspective, you can also do that respective to each of your team members, if they are responsible for a certain section of the company, if they're the lead, give them that title. So customer service, lead, member support, lead, curriculum, lead marketing, lead head of marketing, all these things that we can do to give someone the title, especially if they have then subordinates underneath them, give them an appropriate title, that gives them that little bit of influence that they can then have when running those teams. So a second kind of authority symbol, we had titles, another one that we can use is clothing. Clothing as well been established as something that makes a difference in how well we're perceived. So this piggybacks a little bit off what we're talking about last time, the principle of liking. In that we can look at the part we can look the role that actually makes us more physically attractive, which influences things they're here we're talking about the clothing that we're wearing, within our role in the company and what that can do for us. So I'm not suggesting as they do in the book that men wear suits and ties in the online world.

Honestly, you get looked at a little bit weird when you do that, but how can you convey a sense of authority with just your clothing? For me, I adopted a look where I wear pretty much black T shirts. I like black T shirts, it's bold. It says something about me and kind of how I lead you know, and it's quite frankly my favorite color. I like it. And when I'm wearing that, I'm in charge. Like that's my I'm in charge shirt. And I have tons of them. So I kind of adopted the the Zuckerberg approach and Steve Jobs approach of wearing mostly the same shirt every single day. Yes, if you get me on Zoom call, this is a clean shirt. I just happen to wear this shirt regularly. But there's also many other different ways we can look at the clothing that we're wearing, and what sense of authority it does provide. I know a lot of companies, even remote companies, remote companies can have dress codes to there are some remote companies that require a dress code, even for zoom. One particular person I recently heard of, they require everyone on the team to be wearing something in brand. And they ship all their team members, T shirts, polos, the whole nine yards. So being on brand, have definitely helped. If you haven't assigned that to your team, like what kind of little power can you have, just by wearing something that's branded to the company, very subtle, but there's a whole lot you can do there, just to increase the amount of power of this lever.

So the final one is trappings. And specifically in the book, they talk about the trappings of the expensive car or stuff like that, again, remote environment, how do we do that kind of stuff. What I have been a big advocate for is setting up a zoom stage, the idea that when you are on Zoom, when you're in virtual calls, we should still very much care about the background that we have surrounded us. And what kind of authority triggers do we have behind our heads that we can employ strategically. So one small example but not so small, is I have earned a two comma Club Award from Clickfunnels. And that's behind my head. When I'm in meetings, you'll see that regularly with people that have won marketing wards like that, they will position it cleverly inside of their background. One of my coaches, he hit fortune 500, and a number of times. And so he has those fortune 500 awards, in very close proximity to him when he's doing a video recording or live call. All these little things that make the difference. That set us up as someone that has authority, visa vie the trappings that we have surrounded ourselves with with. So there's probably other ways we can do this in a remote environment. The computers that we use definitely part of the bigger trappings of authority. Are you on some, you know, $2,200, Walmart, cheapo, Google Chromebook, or are you working on the highest end MacBook Pro? You know, those are all things that you can do to increase some of the trappings of life that you and how you can leverage that for greater influence over your company.

That being said, all of that is kind of dependent on your team, think of the things that will convey authority, that will convey the fact that you do know what you're doing the fact that you've earned it, and that that spot you're in that title, that the clothing and the trappings all kind of come together in that. So if you have an advanced college degree or some advanced training certificates, like having those invisibility, or maybe on your profile, does layer lend a little bit of credence to you. And like I said, with all these things, we're just pulling sometimes micro levers, but it's the micro levers that add up that allow us to have greater influence and greater control over things that are happening inside the day to day of the company without really just putting ourselves into dictator lane, which will never work for long. Okay, just one principle to go. Hope you enjoyed this talk about authority and different ways that we can convey it.

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