I spent more than a decade in various project management roles. During these years, I immersed myself in getting people to do things through influence as I held no authority over them.

Influence is to have an effect on others. Authority is the power to make decisions. What if everyone had both influence and authority?

Take the airline Westjet as an example. In their early days, the people had the authority to make decisions like an owner. (You might be coached on the merits of your decision if it was less than optimal.) With every interaction, the Westjet staff had an influence on their guests. The combination of authority and influence resulted in strong customer loyalty and growth for the airline.

If you want your team to do amazing things, give them authority and influence. Then, put away the authority and influence them as they do something amazing.

You’ve got this.

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