November 23, 2011

Soft Power - Hard Power

Joseph S. Nye, Jr., is former Assistant Secretary of Defense and Dean of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is author of Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics.

Hard power is ability to give money for doing something or not doing something or to punish for doing something or not doing something.

Soft power is the emotional appeal. The doer does it willingly because he is attracted by the communication and behavior of the other person.

Many things in a large organization are outside the leader’s span of control. Your power is greater if you can get others to buy in to your values and vision

Joseph Nye identifies the following components of soft power, hard power and smart power, a combination of the two.

Soft Power ( inspirational)

1. Policy Vision - attractive to followers - effective (balance ideals & capabilities)

2. Communications - persuasive words, symbols, example - persuasive to near and distant followers

3. Emotional IQ - ability to manage relationships and “charisma” - emotional self-awareness and control

Hard Power (transactional)

1. Organizational Capacity - manage reward and information systems - inner and outer circles (institutions & bureaucracies)

2. Political Skill (narrow) -ability to bully, buy and bargain - ability to build and maintain coalitions

Smart Power (combined resources)

1. Contextual IQ - understand evolving environment (broad political skills) - capitalize on trends (“create luck”) -adjust style to context and followers’ needs


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