Leaders Hold the Dominant Terrain

“Remember that when an employee enters your office,
he is in a strange land.”  -Erwin H. Schell

Erwin Schell’s quote is partly about your physical office, which can be a foreign and scary place for everyone you lead. But the statement is also about how you wield power when your people enter the domain of your influence.

When you’re the recognized leader, you automatically hold the dominant terrain at the outset of every engagement. Of course, this is especially true in the military, where command authority is the ultimate trump card and rank is clearly displayed on our uniforms. Your people know who is in charge – you don’t need to restate it.

What will outlive your professional accomplishments is the way you enable individuals to feel capable and powerful, despite the obvious fact that you hold ultimate authority.

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