13.5 Chapter Summary and Case

Chapter Summary

  • Power refers to our ability to influence others and convince them on what to do. This is different from influence, which is the application of our power to get people to do what we want them to do. In other words, power is our ability, while influence allows us to move someone to action.
  • Someone who is power-compulsive may lust for power, while someone who is power-shy may try to avoid situations where he or she might have to exert power.
  • Our power position can help us achieve career success. Our power position refers to the use of our own power to get ahead in organizations.
  • Power positioning can be done using a variety of methods, but specific techniques and behaviors can be used to up our power position. For example, the POWER method refers to behaviors we can exhibit to up our power position. They include positive approach, open, willingness, employing things like tact and social skills, and remembering our purpose and goals.
  • Part of career success is making sure you know how to increase your power position, but it is also having an awareness of your attitude and personality.
  • There are three main behavioral aspects to optimizing career success: planning, attitude, and action. Examples include being willing to go above and beyond your job description and having a specific path you know you want to reach. Besides goal setting, having a positive, can-do attitude can help improve chances for promotion.
  • To ensure career success, there are a few main things one should be concerned about. First impressions are important, so having a firm handshake that is web to web is important.
  • When meeting someone, shake their hand, look them in the eye and repeat their name to help you remember it.
  • When dining, there are many etiquette rules—for example, placing the napkin on your lap and using the right forks and glasses. Generally speaking, the first forks you will use are farthest from the plate, and then you work your way in. Dinnerware, such as a bread plate, is always on the left and glasses are always on your right.
  • Basic commonsense etiquette such as not using the napkin on your face or nose, waiting to begin eating until everyone has their food, and others would be considered important things to consider in dining etiquette.
  • The use of technology has increased and so has the rudeness, some studies show. Some basic etiquette rules for phones include not texting while you are having a face-to-face conversation with someone and avoid speaking loudly.
  • Other things to consider regarding technology might include not copying everyone on an e-mail, making sure to use spell check, and proper grammar.
  • Other tips for etiquette include sending thank you cards (not e-mails), being on time, keeping commitments, and making sure to involve others in a conversation.
  • Many personality characteristics can help someone be successful at work. They include many topics discussed throughout this book, such as learning how to manage emotions, being ethical, and learning how to deal with stress.
  • Other factors to career success might include the ability to set goals, make decisions, and deal with conflict.
  • Knowing which of these things you are good at and which need work is an important part to making sure you continually grow professionally and personally.
  • Getting a mentor, that is, someone who can guide you through your career is also a valuable tool for making sure you experience career growth.
  • Continually learning is another way to grow in your career. Stay updated on new technologies and discoveries in your field. This can happen through formal training courses or reading publications from your industry.

Chapter Case

Robert is a supervisor at a large bottling company. His job includes managing safety and breaks and setting schedules for his twenty-five employees who use forklifts and other machinery to package and move filled bottles on to trucks for delivery. Robert has career goals with the organization. First, he would like to become the bottling manager, which is one step up from his current job. In five years, Robert would like to become the director of operations who oversees the entire factory floor.

Robert is an excellent, well-liked manager by his employees, but when it comes to his supervisors, he is very quiet. He never mentioned the fact that his shift had one hundred accident-free days in a row or that productivity had increased 10 percent since he took over the shift. Robert is also a bit shy, so he avoids any kind of social interaction such as the holiday party.

While Robert wants to be promoted in the organization, he knows he lacks some of the skills needed to do the job, such as the ability to put together budgets. Because of this, he has identified two courses he would like to take to improve his financial skills.

Robert was recently asked to review the operational processes during his shift and excelled at it. In fact, because of the shifts’ awareness, Robert motivated his staff to change some of the procedures to be more cost effective. Since Robert would like a promotion, he knows he should assess his strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Consider each of the following topics discussed in this chapter and discuss Robert’s strengths and weaknesses in each of the following areas (making reasonable assumptions is fine). Then create a plan addressing what Robert can do to improve in each area:

    1. Power positioning
    2. Planning, action, and attitude
    3. Etiquette
    4. Personality characteristics
    5. Mentoring
    6. Continual learning
  2. Once you complete some ideas for Robert, think about your strengths and weaknesses in each area. Make a plan on how you can improve on each point.