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The Power Driver Method


Techniques General persuasion > More methods > The Power Driver Method

Know | Grab | Point | Drive | Thank | See also


Here is a simple way to use power in getting people to act. It is particularly pertinent for urgent and important situations when there is no time to wait for consensus.


Start by knowing what's up and what needs doing. If you are not clear with others, you will only cause confusion or rebellion. And you cannot be clear with others unless you are clear yourself.

Depending on the situation, you may or may not have much information about the matter that needs your power. When action is clearly needed, then do not wait. You can find out more as you mobilize.

It can help to know the other people. If you have already built a good relationship with them they will be more likely to comply with your commands or urgent requests, and especially if you have established your position of authority.


Grab the lead. Take charge. Do not wait to be asked. In moments of confusion, people look around for strong leadership. Be that person.

Grab the people. Not physically, of course. Grab their attention and hold it as you quickly summarize the situation. Show them your energy to lead. Inspire their confidence with your confidence.

If you need to, fend off challenges to your leadership. Ask people directly if if they are ready to work with you. Stress the importance of them doing exactly as you say.


Direct the action. Tell people what they must do. Set them to action right away. Give everyone a job. As appropriate make people team leaders. Select people who will carry your energy into action.

If they ask questions, answer only those relevant to the situation. Bat away irrelevant points with 'not now' responses. Answer to clarify what needs doing. Always keep communicating.

If there is danger, point people away from this. Appoint people to safety positions as needed.

As situations change, redirect the action, ensuring both the most urgent and most important actions are taken.


Drive the action, ensuring it keeps going at a quick pace. Watch for people slowing down and chivvy then back up to speed.

Keep informed. Get people to be your eyes and ears, regularly reporting back to you with news of progress and changes in the situation.

Be seen. Get around the people, ensuring they are acting as needed and offering to find support to make them optimally effective. Keep energy levels up. Be the catalyst that releases their energy.

Beware of getting dragged into doing things yourself, other than token actions that serve most to motivate others. Your job is to hold the big picture, to understand what is going on and direct people accordingly. When big decisions need to be made, you need to be there, not embroiled in some minor activity.


Throughout, thank people for their help. Tell them their actions are important. Show your gratitude and then ask them to take the next step. Thanking is a simple and highly motivating reward.

And when you are done, celebrate with everyone and thank them again. Leave them feeling proud of what they achieved and ready to rally around you when you need them again.

See also

Power, Expressing Gratitude

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