Cross Axis: Power and Authority

Cross Axis: Power and Authority

Market Force principles tell us that opposite styles tend to work the easiest together. You get one offensive and one defensive, and one thought oriented and one action oriented style per set.  This does not mean that the cross axis relationships are impossible, just that those tend to take longer to create.  If you can create one, it is typically an advantage to your business performance.

Let’s look in depth at Power and Authority, the two task-driven styles in the Market Force model.

The downside between Power and Authority comes down to a difference in focus between quantity and quality.  

Powers are the quantity-driven style.  They tend to be more list-driven, focusing in on finding the “have to’s” and then working those have to’s off of the list.  Authorities are the quality driven styles. They tend to focus in on the details and the standards of performance.  Authorities may look at Powers and wonder how they overlook the details. Conversely, Powers often look at Authorities as “the stick in the mud” who is always over-analyzing things.  When this happens, you may find that Powers are avoiding Authorities (often by pretending to be on the phone when they see one coming).

As for the upside, a strong working relationship between Power can be a very successful partnership.  

Powers and Authorities are the defensive styles, meaning they both focus on getting things completed.  The biggest difference between the two is thought versus action.  Powers are more action oriented, while Authorities are more thought oriented.  Therefore, if a Power will lean on an Authority for quality control (editing, prioritization, etc.) that can greatly improve their output.  Conversely, if an Authority can realize that perfection is often the enemy of getting things done, then they can let up on micro-managing and criticizing Powers.   When this occurs, the team produces a very effective defense as it will get more done at higher quality than either style would do naturally on their own.

Once again, all cross axis relationships are possible and arise often in the game.  They just take a bit longer typically to produce.  Keep working at them, they are a strategic advantage once created!

About the Author / Travis Carson
Travis Carson
Travis Carson is the Founder of Market Force. Having learned the guiding principles behind Market Force at the age of 19, Travis has used the material himself to help run four different companies, before moving into a training and coaching role in 2008 in order to share the material with others. Travis is a former nationally ranked junior tennis player, a seven-time nationally ranked triathlete, a three-time Ironman finisher and the father of four children.