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Affect without authority: Tips for influencing peers and managing them from top MBA leadership professors


Gabrielle Woodbridge wants to gain a better understanding of leadership as he earns a UQ MBA.

Since the publication of Dale Carnegie’s iconic bestseller, art that influences others to achieve personal and professional achievements has been an important skill for business leaders. How to make friends and influence people 1936.

The ingenious guide has created a true library of self-help books and academic research papers. All of this seeks to break down the psychology of influence into habits that can be easily duplicated.

Of course, if you have organizational authority, the power to influence is relatively simple. The CEO can influence the team through the weight of the title and the power to advance or end the career.

But how do you affect people if you don’t have the authority?

Professor Victor Callan is a professor of management and leadership at the University of Queensland (UQ) Business School and teaches future leaders of the UQ MBA program about the art of unauthorized influence.

“The first question many young executives ask is how can they influence the behavior of peers with the same level of authority as them,” he said. “The second question is how can they influence when dealing with more older people in an organization that has true authority?”

“Each challenge requires a unique approach.”

Victor believes that one of the most important aspects that affects people on the team is to focus on “shared” leadership.

“When we think about influencing our peers and fellow team members, we need to keep in mind that leadership is not the same as authority,” he said.

He said that defining common goals that inspire and even motivate are also important for influencing behavior.

“It is important for the entire team to have the opportunity to define a process for achieving critical, collectively agreed outcomes.”

Gabriel Woodbridge is still the beginning of her UQMBA journey. She balances her studies with becoming a mother of twin toddlers and maintaining her tough work with global software giant SAP.

Gabriel directly saw that during COVID many of the traditional styles of authority-led leadership were ignored and replaced by a more sophisticated approach to influencing others.

“COVID was a great leveler,” she said. “You look at the people in their home and wear casual clothes with their pets and children running around. It required a different, more egalitarian approach to leadership.

“Hierarchies and positions aren’t close to their former influence. It takes a much gentler, more personal approach to get things done and achieve results.”

After completing his Bachelor of Arts (Cultural Studies), Gabriel began his career as a nurse in the pharmaceutical industry, after which he played a marketing role at the leading technology company SAP.

“In my experience, I have to treat every job like my own business and have a true start-up spirit,” she said. “By having complete ownership of actions and results, as you would have to do in a small business, you will be much more focused and people will respect your abilities and self-confidence.”

Gabriel wants to gain a better understanding of leadership as he earns an MBA, especially through the program’s popular leadership courses.

“It was already a very rewarding experience,” she said. “With UQMBA, you can work with talented people in any team environment.

“UQ has the highest MBA in the world in terms of student quality, which is certainly reflected in all the group assignments I have worked on.

“The education team is 110% committed to everything they do and demonstrates modern leadership skills such as empathy, initiative, creativity and abstract thinking. As leaders, they are my colleagues. And provided me with a great template for fostering a culture of respect, innovation and diversity. “

Also read: Navigating the Job Market: How UQMBA Career Consultants Help Students Seize New Opportunities

Of course, managing colleagues at the same level as you in your organization is one thing. Influencing people older than you is a completely different matter and requires a more delicate approach.

Victor believes that “upward management” begins with understanding the needs of managers and building a strong coalition that has an impact in their favor.

This process often begins with a brief consultation to seek advice and understand what is driving them.

“Do this as regularly as possible to create mutual respect and cooperation,” he said. Next, consider the ones that are most likely to affect them.

“For example, are they more influenced by reports that can be reviewed independently and direct meetings with influential colleagues? They are highly analytical and look at graphs, trendlines and data. Do you want or are you more open to the power of emotions, vision and storytelling? “

Influence others, manage your team, and acquire leadership skills to lead your organization at UQMBA. To start your research in July 2022, please apply by May 31st.

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