Using Power To Build Your Authority

As a consultant, you may not make key decisions (that’s where your client holds power), but you can influence outcomes in many other ways.

Jonathan and I cover the forms of power you hold as a consultant—and how to use them for good.

Why the power of your expertise—arguably the key skill of a consultant—pales in comparison to the “softer” powers you’ll need to make sure your advice sticks.

How to think about the types of power you hold as a consultant.

Using your power to move client projects forward while building your business.

When the power-forward, speed-based mode of consulting is more efficient—but less effective.

Figuring out which person(s) on your project is the skeptic—and engaging them in the process so you win them over.

The role of generosity and charisma in building relationship power.


“The power of expertise doesn’t work if you don’t get your expertise used. Consulting skills are a form of power that you wield when you use them well.”—RM

“People in the hierarchy have their own personal goals that may or may not align with the overall project goal.”—JS

“Sometimes that person who’s really quiet is actually undermining every thing you’re doing.”—RM

“If you don’t have buy-in, when you’re gone, they’re just going to switch back to the old way.”—JS

“When we start working collaboratively, our ego tends to get tamped down…we sublimate our ego in service to the project.”—RM

“If the way the team wants to do it is going to get them to the goal and they’ll feel ownership over it, that’s probably more important than you jamming your beautiful design down their throat.”—JS


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