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To be a real EntreLeader you have to realize you have great power but seldom use it. Having great power and managing it as a tool is what real EntreLeaders do. When you hold the pen over the paycheck — the right to fire a team — you have power over their lives. That is positional power, the power given to you by your position. If you lead only with positional power, you are simply a boss.

EntreLeaders understand that ultimately the only power they can use to grow a quality team is the power of persuasion. Persuasion is pulling the rope and positional leadership is pushing the rope. And we all know you can’t push a rope. If you want employees, then boss them around; if you want team members, explain why you do what you do. If they won’t do what you ask, explain it again and again. Then, if they are simply contrary, they have to work somewhere else. But don’t lead with threats and fear.

That is positional leadership, and if I resort to that with my teen or my team, I am not building to the future. I may get what I want right then, but I did not equip them to perform when my back is turned. I am older and wiser and will persuade them to perform within boundaries that accomplish all our goals. If I can persuade them, I have built into our future; we will both get to go places we could not have gone otherwise.

The weird thing is that while persuasional leadership takes longer and takes more restraint at the time, it is much more efficient over the long haul. When you teach team members or teens the why, they are more equipped to make the same decision next time without you. You don’t have to watch their every move, you don’t have to put in a time clock, and you don’t have to implant a GPS chip in their hide when they learn how to think for themselves. Positional leadership doesn’t take as long in the exchange, but you have to do it over and over and over and over. You never get to enjoy your team or your kids because they become a source of frustration rather than a source of pride.

Dave Ramsey
EntreLeadership