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5 Kinds of Power Moves to Change Your Destiny for the Better

a woman in a suit looks at the camera with a confident smile and her arms crossed

This post was first published on my Medium blog—follow me there for the most up-to-date entries!

Whether it’s losing weight or growing your business to a 7-figure income, you’ll need to make several power moves to achieve your goals. So, what qualifies as a power move in your world, and how can you choose the next power move to change your journey?

Lucio Buffalmano distinguishes between a dominant behavior and a power move. Whereas the former is a baseline behavior, the latter is a “concentrated display of power” in one of five categories. I liked his categories, but as the owner of a small business, I couldn’t relate to his examples at all. So I came up with some examples that I — and hopefully you — can use to make the next power move.

1. Intellectual Power Moves

This category is about mental superiority.

Are you feeding your brain, or using your brain, in a bigger way than usual? If so, you’re probably making an intellectual power move.

For instance, you might…

  • start a blog.
  • enroll in a course.
  • read a book, or several books.

What’s your next power move to gain intellectual superiority?

2. Negotiation Power Moves

Any time you’re coming to an agreement with someone, especially an agreement that will have a big impact, that’s likely to be a power move.

Here are some examples of power moves that could be classified as negotiation:

  • hiring a new employee, consultant, or coach
  • pursuing or winning a new contract with a big client
  • submitting a proposal for a new book contract

Consider a few useful tips before you make your next power move related to negotiation.

3. Raw Muscle Power Moves

Raw muscle is doing whatever you need to do to win the fight, or the war. Sometimes, that might be a big gamble, or a daring move that will have massive rewards or consequences.

In the very early days of FedEx, rising fuel costs forced the company into debt. After investors failed to give the company money, founder Fred Smith took a detour to Las Vegas over the weekend. He won big, and he put his blackjack winnings into the company so he could buy fuel to fly the planes on Monday morning.

The rest is history.

Fred said, “…if we were going to go down, we were going to go down with a fight.”

But not all examples are that dramatic. Another example might be firing a key employee who drags down the team. Scary. But that’s a power move.

What kind of raw muscle move could you — or should you — make right now?

4. Status Power Moves

Buffalmano says that status power moves are “displays of higher rank within a hierarchical structure, a social group or, generally, within society. Money, friends, and titles all show superior status.”

What will increase your recognition or credibility among your intended audience? When you answer that question, you may be poised to make your next power move.

Status is about some sort of hierarchy. You’re not just a member — you’re a leader. You’re not just a good writer — you’re an author. You’re not just a good nurse — you’re a certified nurse.

You might elevate your status through some entity or organization. For example, you might…

  • earn a new certification.
  • start a new committee in the community and name yourself as the chair.
  • start a LinkedIn group (where you would automatically be considered the expert, because you established the group).

You could use someone else’s status to help you get to the next level. Surely you’ve heard the saying that it’s who you know that counts.

Your liaison with someone who is already rich and powerful might help you to gain status. Subsequently, that person might offer to introduce you to a potential client or a famous person. If you’re successful with that, it could be your next power move.

Remember, though, the person who helps you make it to the next level isn’t necessarily a person who has worldly status. For me, a power move was enlisting help from an old family physician. He often talked about his daughter who had written a book with Mosby (now Elsevier) which, at that time, was the biggest publisher of medical and healthcare books in the US. Because of him, I was able to arrange a conversation with his daughter, and next thing I knew, I was submitting a proposal to Mosby. (And yes, I got the contract, and the book published!)

There are numerous examples, but any or all of those would amount to this: Some person or entity that you’re connected to or recognized by gets you a step closer to your goal.

If you feel dwarfed, find a way to stand on the shoulders of giants, or declare yourself as the giant. No kidding, I’ve declared myself the Queen of Something more than once!

What person or group could help you to make your next power move?

5. Social Power Moves

Buffalmano says a social power move is anything that displays higher confidence, higher self-esteem, higher social skills, and mastery of social power dynamics.

What does it take to master those social power dynamics?

Become a better version of yourself. Grow. You won’t grow if you have what author Carol Dweck, in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, calls a “fixed mindset.” Make an effort to be your better self, and you’re likely to show up in society as a master of social power dynamics.

Identify and implement steps overcome your self-limiting beliefs. Certainly, that’s a big step toward making a social power move. Recognize that fears kill dreams. In fact, it may be fair to say that fear kills most dreams. Maybe it’s time to, as author Susan Jeffers says, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.

So what’s your next power move?

On the whole, making your next power move is the key to making your big leap. If you make three power moves this month, you’re highly likely to achieve your quarterly goals.

So I ask you again: What are your next move(s) to change the course of your journey?

Are you looking for that connection who’s going to facilitate your next power move? Consider a coaching session with me to help you unlock your full potential!

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