How do you develop personal authority?
First - know yourself and your beliefs
Personal Authority is about knowing what you believe and acting
accordingly. Authority by definition implies certainty and
understanding. If you do not know what you believe you cannot be
said to have Authority over yourself.
Second - Act
Knowing what you believe is only good in that it guides your
actions. If you don't act on your beliefs then you will lose your
personal authority. By acting in accordance with your beliefs you
gain personal authority.
a) If you say that you don't think it is right to criticize
people, then spend an hour criticizing the people who do criticize
others, your personal authority will diminish.
b) If you state that you believe that racism is wrong and come
to the aid of a person being persecuted for their race, at your own
cost, your personal authority will increase. Anyone who witnesses
something like this will remember it for a long time to come.
Third - Stay the course
Once you know what you believe you cannot back down simply
because your belief is not popular, or because peer pressure is
being applied to sway you from your belief. The only acceptable
reason to change your mind is because you have learned that you
were wrong. There is no shame in being wrong, only shame in knowing
you are wrong and doing nothing about it.
Additional points to consider
Telling people what you believe is definitely a part of personal
authority, but harping on them and expecting them to change their
belief is not. It is enough that the people you come in contact
with understand your belief. Convincing them to side with you is
not important, they either will see the merit in your belief or
they will not.
You do not need to sit down with people and explain your every
belief in detail. This is something that you do situationaly. Often
times you will not need to explain your beliefs because your
actions will do that for you. Again the only thing that matters is
that people understand that you do have definite beliefs and that
they understand what they are.
People who have personal authority are highly influential.
Please make an effort to be worthy of that influence and to lift
people to a higher place rather than drag them down.
There are not a great many people who do have strong personal
authority, it is often a good idea to explain to people that if
they act a certain way your beliefs will compel you to do xyz (if
you continue to act that way I will leave, I cannot tolerate this
behavior). Many people are surprised that there are consequences to
The more clearly you learn to articulate your beliefs the