What is the paradox of power and influence?

What is the paradox of power and influence?

When a person gets into the coaching profession, it is usually because they want to help develop and shape young people (usually because they were impacted by a coach along the way).

As a coach gets started it is usually at a lower-level position. They are pumped to be able to come to work every day and pour into and develop the student-athletes. It is what gets them going.

At some point, a coach gets a promotion, gets a new job with more responsibilities and higher pay, and starts to climb the ‘ladder’.

The reason they recieved this promotion was someone saw in them an ability to connect, win influence, and develop athletes.

The Focus Slowly Changes
This is where the problem starts to show up. Slowly, in small degrees, they shift their focus. The focus becomes more about the result…they need to produce results to keep their job…and if they can continue to get results, they can continue to progress in their career, ie. climb the ladder.

This change in focus slowly brings about a loss of empathy, connection and development and moves (again… really slowly) to a mindset of ‘just get the job done’…win games and get promoted.

At a core, fundamental level, they start to use their power and position to get results and move away from winning influence to develop others (which ultimately brings about good results).

Leading with influence creates power…Leading with power crushes influence.

The thing that actually won a coach power and promotion….influence, is lost. Fear starts to creep in. Once fear creeps in, then our focus is almost entirely off the development of others…and almost entirely on forcing results.

The very thing that provided you a measure of power was leading with influence. When we turn around and use that power to lead, we immediately lose our influence.

Results matter. But people will never be all they can be if you use power to get those results.

Win them over with influence!


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Travis Wyckoff

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