What are The 10 Powers of Leadership? – Part 1

Jill Geisler Commencement SpeechJill Geisler delivered the commencement address to the 2012 graduates of Duquesne University’s School of Leadership and Professional Advancement. Her message captured my heart and it is worth sharing.

Before delving into The 10 Powers of Leadership, allow me to share her premises: there is nothing wrong with craving power provided you use that power in service of important values.

This is another way of saying use your power for goodness. When Jill says “more power to you.” she literally means to you – to use these powers in self-leadership as well as leading others. Seldom do we consider being in the leadership role of our lives. If we aren’t  then who is? Who are we giving our power to? As you read through this series, my wish for you is you experience the same wake-up call as I did. Self-leadership is where it starts. Then we can share our leadership with others. Following each Power, I’ve included some questions for you to consider.

Here is the first of The 10 Powers of Leadership Jill shared with the grads:

1. The Power of Appreciation:

I often ask a class of managers, “Who in here gets too much feedback?” Hands rarely, if ever, go up. In fact, my experience is that employees at all levels are starving for feedback. They have bosses who say, “If you don’t hear from me, assume you’re doing a good job.” That’s asking people to accept neglect as a compliment. Or “I don’t praise people for doing what they’re supposed to.” And we wonder why some organizations struggle with employee engagement.

Now ask that same class how many have saved a thank you note from a boss, a client or a customer. Hands go up. The handwritten note of thanks is treasured, often for years to come.


  • QuestionsHow do you express appreciation to yourself? If you don’t, why not?
  • Does the thought of doing so make you feel uncomfortable? If so, why?
  • What would be one thing you could do today, right now, to demonstrate appreciation for the skills, talents, expertise and gifts you have to share?
Question Mark Image courtesy of rattigon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Author: Susan Bock

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