Gail Rudolph: Power Dynamics – How to always get to a win/win

Gail Rudolph
Photo credit: Mike Lloyd Photography

Gail Rudolph is the author of Power Up Power Down, How to Reclaim Control and Make Every Situation a Win/Win. She helps readers discover how to harness their personal power and understand power dynamics present in all situations. 

Gail is credentialed to teach the six universal Principles of Persuasion based on the research of the “Godfather of Influence,” Dr. Robert Cialdini. She is one of 13 people globally —one of two women, and the only woman in the United States to hold this distinction.

Gail holds a Leadership Certification from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, is a Value-Based Leadership Expert, and has trademarked proprietary leadership trainings and assessments.  She is an Executive Director and former President’s Advisory Council member on the John Maxwell Team, the world’s #1 Leadership expert.

CEO and founder of Gail Rudolph Collaborative, Gail is an expert on mindset, interpersonal power, and inclusion and diversity.  

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you ended up writing a book?

As a young woman starting out in the workforce, I was clueless about power.

I’d accepted a position at a community foundation where I was the only full-time employee and my boss was part-time. I did most of the work while he took the majority of the credit.

Wanting to prove my value, I worked hard, achieving goals that should’ve taken three years in just over one.

So, with this “feather in my cap,” I thought it was the perfect time to ask for a raise.

To this day, I remember my boss’s response to my request.  Shaking his head, he asked, “You get child support, don’t you?”

I was shocked into a state of paralysis. I didn’t know how to respond or what to do. I asked what child support had to do with my accomplishments for the foundation, but that didn’t change his mind. 

Later I discovered that the foundation board approved a salary increase – for my boss. I felt utterly devalued, frustrated, and powerless.

Finally, I resigned and moved on. But I did learn an important lesson: I had been unknowingly giving my power away.

The trouble was, even in subsequent roles, I still didn’t have a grasp of how to claim my power and use it effectively.

As a young, ambitious woman in the workplace, I wasn’t aware of power dynamics, and I didn’t use power properly.

Power wasn’t something I thought was available to me, especially early on as I worked my way up the career ladder. Back then, I thought I had to achieve a certain level or title to gain power.

Looking back, I realize I made mistakes trying to navigate my role with power and figure out where I fell on the power continuum. But that was the beginning of my journey to become aware of and understand power.

Ultimately after years of struggling, I realized that the proper use of power can be learned. Once I mastered it myself, I set out to help others do the same. I wrote my book, Power Up, Power Down: How to Reclaim Control and Make Every Situation a Win/Win, as a way to pay forward what I’d learned.

What do your hope readers take away from this book?

I want people to feel empowered after reading the book because they know they can start living a more powerful life immediately. 

With the realization that power is not reserved for only those with important titles and celebrity status, we can change our outcomes. Power is the energy that ebbs and flows constantly in every interaction we encounter. If you know how to read a situation, you can step into and access power dynamics effectively to create mutually beneficial outcomes for everyone involved.

Power is part of every relationship. It is an intentional choice. We make the choice to use it effectively or we (un)intentionally decide to abdicate our power to others.

By understanding and implementing the lessons I share in my book, I hope every reader becomes a Power-Full, ethical individual who enhances relationships by empowering others.

What are the top three tools you are currently using to write, publish and promote your book?

  • Writing: Scrivener
  • Publishing: Morgan James Publishing
  • Promoting: HARO, Podmatch, Social media, and website

What were the top three mistakes you make publishing the book and what did you learn from them?

  • I started writing without using a professional writing software and had to import everything into it.  I also did not think I had time to take a course on using the software, but it cost me a lot of time in the long run having to stop and figure out how to do something.
  • I began writing from beginning to end but once I got into editing I moved things around numerous times. Now I write in segments or stories so I can move them for better flow.
  • I did not have people who would give me honest feedback (those who understand the book industry) read it early enough. This created more work for me in the long run.

When will you consider your book a success:

I already consider my book a success because I am getting emails and comments from people sharing how they were able to use the tools and their lives were changed for the better. In fact, I’ve had a few people tell me, “It was like you knew my life and the struggles I encounter?”

Can you share a snippet that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt?

Real power energizes us from a place of stability and self-worth. There is no need to seek permission on whether we are worthy of having power or influence; we already have it. 

There is always personal power to be accessed. It is up to each of us to step into it with responsibility and integrity – because Choice Leads to Power. 

How have the pandemic and lockdown affected you and your new business?

We used the time during lockdown to spend more time listening to what our clients need as well as their pain points. This led us to create additional materials to address those problems as well as move our training to an online platform. We learned that some of the things we thought were essential to our business were not as important as we previously thought.  We began to work smarter not harder by eliminating bottlenecks in our workflow.

What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

Writing a book and moving the business to an online platform were two areas that were not in my wheelhouse. To say the least, I was feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of doing one, let alone both… So, we took a step back, identified our shortcomings, and hired specialized coaches to help in these specific areas, which accelerated us to the next level.

What was the one thing you wish you knew before publishing your book?

Before publishing the book, I had no concept about the depth and breadth of promotion that was going to have to be done to get the book out to the public. I wish I had started sharing pieces of the book while writing it instead of waiting until it was at the publisher.

Please share one thing new self-published authors can do to gain more reviews on Amazon.

Utilize the author page to the fullest.  When I posted videos about the book, we began getting more engagement and purchases, and our increased sales took us to #1 new release.

Can you share some of the marketing techniques that have worked for you promoting your book?

If you are not going to hire a publicist, then take the time to learn how to pitch to the media. I learned that Media Pitches are a different style of writing and if I had not educated myself on how to craft a pitch that would get noticed, I wouldn’t have landed the podcast, articles, or TV appearances.

If you had the chance to start your career over again what would you do differently?

I would embrace my personal power and respond differently to those people who used force and intimidation to stop me from reaching my full potential.

What’s a productivity tip you swear by?

Know your talent and stay there.  Hand off other tasks that are not using your talents to the fullest.

What helps you stay driven and motivated to finish writing you book?

My book was written as a guide to help others and that is where I draw my motivation. If just one person can learn to harness their personal power and not experience the frustration and pain I felt because I didn’t know how to properly use my power, that keeps me excited and motivated.

Can you recommend one book, one podcast and on online course for entrepreneurs and authors?

  • Podcast: HBR Ideacast: and How I Built This.
  • Online Course:  Media Succuss Blueprint  Mary was a master at helping me know how to write pitches to media.  

What are you learning now?

The learning never stops, especially once your book is published. The book has a life of its own and if your message can stand the test of time you need to continue to promote it.

If you only had $1000 dollars to promote your new book, knowing everything you know now, how would you spend it?

With a good book coach and media pitch class.

What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring a new author?

Enjoy the process of learning to do something new.  Don’t beat yourself up or stress yourself out if you don’t have an answer.  Someone has it, so reach out.

What is your favorite quote?

Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.

Who should we interview next and why?

Karen Anderson, Strategic Book Coach.  Her expertise is instrumental in moving books from good to great.  

What is your definition of success?

Waking up excited every day, knowing that I’ll learn something new, help others, and make money doing it.

How do you personally overcome fear?

I have learned the difference between fear and intuition. Intuition shows up on occasion, typically for important life decisions where conclusive answers aren’t readily available.  Fear, on the other hand, never sits on the sidelines but is always jumping up and down, yelling, “No, Don’t do it!” 

How can readers get in touch with you? 

You can order the book on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, or Bookshop but if you want to get additional resources and ongoing material, join our GRC community at gailrudolph.com.  You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram @GailRudolphAuthor

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