Unleashing the 'Pow!' in Power Skills
Paying a salary does not motivate someone. At best, it ensures they show up for work (remotely), but then how they perform is usually somewhere on a spectrum. This spectrum varies from being a net drain on the project because of undermining or resistance, all the way through to being a passionate contributor and innovator.
Figure 1: The Spectrum of net contribution people bring to a project
Looking at this range, we can probably recall working with someone from each portion of the spectrum: the saboteurs and downers who, consciously or unconsciously, suck productivity from the rest of the team through hostility or negativity (the team is better off the days those people are away!); all the way to the dynamos and bright lights who lift us and others to do our best work and make it fun in the process.
However, people are not predestined or stuck in one place on the range. The ability to shift teams to the right, toward higher levels of contribution and motivation, is what separates merely competent project managers from truly excellent ones.
Fortunately, this is not rocket science or innate charisma. Instead, it is the application of power skills, and they can be learned and developed. However, we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s step back and understand what power skills are (and for more, see PMI's Pulse of the Profession® 2023: Power
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