Leadership and Power
Paul E Fultz
April 28, 2015
Leadership and Power
Leadership and power are terms commonly used in business relations and these terms are often interconnected. There has been an ongoing debate about the differences between leadership, management, and power. In addition, to be an effective leader it is vital to understand and try to express these distinctions as well as understand the significant role of power in leadership.
Power can be described as a person or entity with much control, authority, and/or influence over other people or organizations. The premise of power can be directly related to leadership due in part to the influence process. It can also be said that power is the ability or probability to influence. “People have power when they have the ...view middle of the document...
Authority also comes into play when one speaks of power, leadership, and influence tactics. Authority makes use of derived power to give direction and protection to personnel within any organization. Sometimes the authority that a leader in an organization has over his employees may make them subject to his commands and follow his instructions out of fear. This is also the case of formal authority and power.
There are five common, essential bases of power. These are referent power, expert power, legitimate power, reward power, and coercive power.
Referent power arises from being trusted and respected. One can gain referent power when others trust what they do and respect them for how they handle a situation. For example, someone who works in Human Resources who may be admired for making sure employees are treated fairly and comes to the rescue of those who are not treated that way.
Expert power is derived from a person’s experiences, skills and/or knowledge. When one gains experience in particular areas and becomes thought leaders in those areas they start to gather expert power that can be used to get others to meet expectations. For example, the Project Manager who is an expert at solving particularly challenging problems to ensure a project stays on track.
Among these five sources of power, creating a positive operating climate is one that tends to lead to greater job satisfaction.
One may now have a brief overview of how Leadership and Power are interrelated and can make or break any organization or individual.
Abudi, G. (n.d.). The 5 Types of Power in Leadership. Retrieved 2015, from The Fast Track: http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2011/08/26/the-5-types-of-power-in-leadership/
Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice (6th ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE Publications, Inc.