Advice for Those Who Work With a High-Power Boss

No, you can't change your boss' power motive. Your boss -- and you -- are who you are. But if you are wise, you can help your boss, and yourself, be more successful.

Know what's going on. Information is power. Knowing what's really going on provides power to you and to your boss.

Listen. Listening is important for every interaction, but it's particularly important for those with a strong point of view.

Let it be his idea. Use the boss' ideas and words. Words matter. If the boss wants his people to think "outside in," then use those words again and again in your communications.

Leave a few open holes in your proposals. The more you tighten to logic, the less opportunity there is for your boss to exert influence. Leave a few holes, "I'm not sure about this; I'd like your advice ..."

Be impressed. It's not so hard to do and it frees you to get on with the real work.

Society needs strong leaders, speakers and coaches and not everyone wants to play those roles. We need people who are motivated by power. But balancing the good with the bad is not easy. The first step is to understand, then strengthen the good and inhibit the bad.

So, take heart when your son annoys his sister by hiding in the closet and yelling "Boo!" You just might be raising a next-generation CEO.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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