Management Articles


How to Establish Your Authority

By: Susan Dunn

Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach, coaches individuals and executives in emotional intelligence, and offers workshops, presentations, trainings, Internet courses and ebooks.  She is a regular presenter for the Royal Caribbean and Costa cruiselines.  Visit her on the web at and for FREE ezine.

“Leaders are born, not made” – do you think this is true? I think one can learn to act as if he or she was born a leader.

I’m thinking of my young friend Mark who told me his boss had told him, “The only reason I haven’t made you a manager is that you don’t act like one.” Sounds like a Catch-22, but that’s what we’re talking about. It helps to be given a title, but even then others won’t follow you unless you act like a leader, which requires believing you are one.

TIP OF THE DAY: Don’t waste time trying to earn your leadership position. Impose it. Don’t be tentative.

Claim all your Personal Power, an Emotional Intelligence competency. Deliver it like Henry, or Catherine, with authority and without emotion:

EDICT OF NANTES: "Henry, By the Grace of God, King of France, and Navarre, To all Present, and to Come greeteth. Among the infinite Mercies that God hath pleased to bestow upon us, that most Signal and Remarkable is, his having given us Power and Strength not to yield to the dreadful Troubles, Confusions and Disorders--"

THE MANIFESTO OF THE EMPRESS CATHERINE II, OF RUSSIA: "By the Grace of God "We, Catherine the second, Empress and Autocrat of all the Russians at Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod, Czarina of Kasan, Czarina of Astrachan, Czarina of Siberia, Lady of Pleskow and Grand Duchess of Smolensko, Duchess of Esthonia and Livland, Carelial, Twer, Yugoria, Permia, Viatka and Bulgaria and others; Lady and Grand Duchess of Novgorod in the Netherland of Chernigov, Resan, Rostov, Yaroslav, Beloosrial, Udoria, Obdoria, Condinia, and Ruler of the entire North region and Lady of the Yurish, of the Cartalinian and Grusinian czars and the Cabardinian land, of the Cherkessian and Gorsian princes and the lady of the manor and sovereign of many others." That's the first sentence! Catherine the Great has said nothing, but oh how we are listening.

Now these were edicts and manifestos, which are written. In person, 90% of our communication is nonverbal. That’s why when Henry or Catherine entered – let’s say “granted an audience” – they arrived in state, dressed regally, with attendants, sat in a special chair, others sat away from and below them … and a host of other nonverbal methods that established their authority.

How can you translate this into modern-day? Study Emotional Intelligence and nonverbal communication.

© copyright, Susan Dunn, 2003

Other Articles by Susan Dunn

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