How to Get More Authority - While Keeping the End in Mind


Seth Godin said:

Extraordinary contribution changes not just the recipient, but the giver as well…

The hard part isn't working for free. The hard part is figuring out that this is your chance to do more than you're asked, to resist being unpaid labor for an organization too cheap to pay you properly. Instead, this is a rare moment to leap.”

What's missing in Seth’s great share

Those who are still trying to figure out how to show up and be consistent are in the early part of their journey. Without a foundation of skills and expertise, ‘leaping’ does require some good judgment.

When that time comes, they can look at their skills, talents and how they make an impact… and sometimes will have an epiphany: “it matters”.  That is when they go beyond marketing – and leap… which leads to bigger rewards for everyone.

Getting More Authority

To begin, “getting authority” depends on what someone does/builds/creates and then how others are excited/inspired/moved who then cheer/applaud/refer/recommend/share.  When there is an intention of ‘making an impact’, others see the samples and intuitively understand the intent, they share and getting authority is a symptom – an after effect.  Authority is something others give.

People or teams who say “I want to be (or appear to be) the most popular” will have a more difficult time becoming popular than those who make it matter. In the new world of media, marketing, sales, hype… there is distrust and suspicion.

We do/build/create because it is important, and others benefit from our work (or as Seth put is, our ‘art’). Deciding what is most important, why it matters and the part we (the person/company/team) will play is challenging as it is a deeper commitment and there is more risk.

Getting Support

Those who want to leap but want to do so with better judgment, listen to and rely on someone who understands (and believes in) their potential, who has experience with leaping and can be a guide. There is not a guarantee of success (getting more) but there is always a guarantee of ‘making an impact’, which can leave ripples for years or generations to come.

A Fun Paradigm Shift


This can be seen in the movie “Ground Hog Day”. Phil went from ‘manipulate to get what I want’ to ‘intentionally making a difference’. I highly recommend that you watch the movie again. It is a classic and one of my favorites.

Tactical Tricks

The movie is NOT just a story as I have seen many go from ‘tactical tricks’ to ‘make it matter’ and create sustainable growth. Tactical tricks need more (and bigger) tactical tricks, and then more. Those who focus on a ‘mission’ (call it what you want), are recognized first by the objective and then by their consistent actions.

Get Ready to Leap

I like Seth’s blog – and his thoughts – as it inspires us to pause and ponder about what matters.

But the questions of what, how, when, where and ‘are we ready?’ are also important to help us avoid leaping into a burning building unprepared.

If you are having a puzzle with identifying what your extraordinary contribution will be, please reach out to me here.  We will measure our success based on when others point, cheer, refer, and share. It will be an indication they believe you are an authority. Not because we ask (or beg) for it, but because of the impact from extraordinary contribution. 

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Topics: Leadership Business Culture Brand Integrity Professional Development