The extent to which you get your power from your role and level within the organisational hierarchy, within key projects and on committees.
For this to be useful, people have to respect and respond to the status you hold. In youthful and informal cultures, attempts to rely upon status can easily backfire and should be avoided. The potential is also dependent upon the degree to which most of the senior people support their hierarchy. If they frequently undermine their managers, then status is unlikely to be influential. On the other hand, if they back their managers to the end, being a manager is indeed a powerful position.
You also need to note that there are significant regional variations in the power of status. Becoming powerful in the Far East is often impossible without gaining position.
Strengths: High scorers know that holding an important position allows them to use this to cut through opposition and debate. This can help them to move fast and make things happen, without having to worry about building consensus or wasting time explaining their decisions.
Limitations: Status power resides within the role rather than the individual; and these days, not everyone is so deferential or easily influenced by status. Using or signalling status can be considered inappropriate or just unfashionable in modern, empowered cultures or even perceived as a weakness if it needs to be explicitly referenced.
Someone who models Status Power will…
- be a member of the inner circle of influencers.
- occupy a high status/high visibility role.
- be autocratic rather than democratic.
- signal their status to others when appropriate.
- collect the symbols of status — office, desk, etc.
- get what they want because of their rank.
- not waste time or energy explaining their decisions.
- hold appropriate qualifications and will display them.
- be able to exercise veto over decisions.
- experience deference from those lower on the chain of command.
- state “I” rather than “we” when making decisions.
- intervene in debate without censure due to status.
- Notice which roles are respected and carry most status.
- Only consult others and build consensus when absolutely necessary.
- When you’ve made a decision, deliver it as an edict.
- Exercise your power of veto in a highly visible manner.
- Recognise the best times to make people aware of your status.
- Learn to remain aloof from those below you.
- Get onto influential forums or committees where your vote or contribution matters and is visible.
- Display your professional qualifications rather than keeping them in your portfolio.
- Where senior people have given you a mandate, get clearance from them to “name drop” when you need to.