How to Succeed with People in Authority

Don’t expect advancement while resisting or opposing people in authority.

Success within organizations is determined by people with authority. They authorize raises, promotions, and determine who participates in high value projects.

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12 ways to succeed with people in authority:

  1. Be a person of value. Make a positive contribution every chance you have.
  2. Allow authorities to define value. What is valuable to you may be a waste to them.
  3. Align with their goals – work to achieve their objectives.
  4. Respect their time. Be brief, concise, and practical.
  5. Provide facts and figures. Your opinion matters, the facts matter more.
  6. Disagree with respect.
  7. Offer alternatives, rather than opposition.
  8. Always row with, even if you disagreed during the decision-making process.
  9. Determine how to make things work. Don’t be a person who constantly explains what won’t work.
  10. Don’t ask them to spend political capital on you. When you screw up, you lower your leader’s status. When you don’t follow through, you drain a bit of their political capital.
  11. Be steady, not emotional.
  12. Serve others. Don’t build silos and kingdoms.

Get on your leader’s team if you expect them to be on yours.


Seek the highest good of your organization, even if it isn’t what’s best for you personally. Don’t compromise ethical standards for authorities.

What’s required to succeed with people in authority?