Need for power. This way you increase your influence.

Need for power

Is entrepreneurship pure self-gratification? “Yes,” says founder and entrepreneur of Cool Cat, Ronald Khan, with a big smile :). Is it something to be proud of that? Admittedly, an entrepreneur pursues some self-interest, although that can easily be combined with a general or social interest. The need for power does mean that you impose your own will on others. It is a desire or urge to influence others. You can safely say dominant behavior. This way, you increase your influence.

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Negative connotation?

The need for power, dominance, or influence has a negative connotation. It’s not particularly a personal characteristic that people like to display. However, this specific need can be a reason for people to become an entrepreneur. They prefer to be in control of others rather than others lecturing them. 

With entrepreneurship, you are in charge. Some will to influence others comes in handy then. You are in charge, so you have to influence others to achieve your own goals. Influencing others is not limited to your employees, but also suppliers, partners, and, yes, even customers. 

Still, that negative charge of dominance is unjustified. It says nothing about how you influence others. Moreover, your goals can coincide well with the goals of others you want to ‘control.’ For example, social entrepreneurs who want to make the world a better place.

You can learn to influence

You can learn to influence. In total, there are 4 ways to influence. In addition to convincing, the most applied but not always the most effective way, you can also exert influence through encouragement, research, or inspiration.

To convince

Of course, it helps if you have a good story. Even better if you can also present valid arguments. In short: how much confidence do you have in your story? Entrepreneurs are storytellers and often do so with passion and a twinkle in their eyes. That convinces. 

How can you come up with a convincing story yourself? List all arguments and counterarguments. Convince yourself of the quality of your opinion and the evidence you use. If you do not succeed, that is also an answer. But don’t give up too quickly. There is always an advantage against every disadvantage. It depends on the way you look at it.

To spur

When spurring, you use arguments to ‘seduce’ someone into doing something. If you have the ‘power,’ then you can use it, and your arguments don’t even have to be right. In all other cases, it helps if you have sound reasoning. List all arguments for yourself. Review all of them and think of evidence against them. Then turn those arguments back to your advantage.

To research

With researching, you try to interest the other person in your story, your interest. You do this by asking questions and – just as important – listening carefully. By first asking open-ended questions to the other person, you will learn how they view the subject, that you have an opinion about. So, open questions that start with what, why, when, or how, for example. Followed by investigating your views of the subject coincide. This way, you draw the other person step by step towards your opinion.

To inspire

With inspiring, you make the other person curious, so that someone voluntarily takes action. The entrepreneur inspires others with his appealing and lucrative visions of the future. That is influenced by inspiration that makes people want to help realize that vision. It also helps them in the future.

Tip: Look back at your own story. Make it personal, which often inspires others.

So there are 4 ways to influence, but they are anything but negative!

Read more about the difference between skills, abilities, knowledge, and competencies.