Leadership power - Essay Example

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A leader is an individual can influence the thoughts and actions of a segment of people based on their powerful ways of doing things as well as strong ideologies that these people adore (Antonakis, Cianciolo, & Sternberg, 2004). On the other hand, leadership is the process of…
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Leadership Power s A leader is an individual can influence the thoughts and actions of a segment of people based on their powerful ways of doing things as well as strong ideologies that these people adore (Antonakis, Cianciolo, & Sternberg, 2004). On the other hand, leadership is the process of influencing the activities of a group or a person in towards goal achievement in a certain situation. In other words, it is a process of social influence where an individual enlists the support of others in order to achieve a common task. Therefore, drawing on a variety of sources the paper will discuss the interaction among leaders’ sources, motives, and influence tactics.
There is a notable correlation between power and leadership. Hersey, Blanchard and Johnson (1996) define power as the ability to control other people or things. In other words, power is the potential to influence. It has been evidenced that leaders have power over people or things that they lead. According to Bass and Bass (2009), leadership is often conceived as an exercise of power. Leadership and power have often been utilized to influence the behavior of people. According to the behavioral theory, a leader is thus analyzed by what one does and how they behave. In the same way, it can be evidenced that power is usually concentrated to a few select persons. Very few organizations take the chance to teach selected few of the manner in which to make effectively use the power that they possess. Leaders have various bases of power unto which they leverage, including the power of position, power of charisma, power of relationships, power of information, power to reward others, and power of expertise, as well as power of punishment.
There are five different types of power. First is legitimate power. It is also known as official or position power. This power comes from the rules of the organization. It offers the leaders the power to punish and reward, along with controlling organizational resources. This type of power maintains discipline and order in the society. Second is coercive power, which entails the use of negative influences. The most common coercion tools are threats and punishment. This makes it the least effective form of power since it builds resentment and resistance. The third type of power is referent power. It is the ability to attract others and build loyalty. It is usually based on the interpersonal skills as well as the charisma of the power holder. Fourth is expert power. It is the authority of knowledge that arises from specialized learning. A person’s knowledge or competence gives him or her expert power. This means that this type of power is extremely specific and limited to a certain area (Montana & Charnov, 2008).Next is political power. This is the power that comes from the support of a group of people. In other words, it develops the ability of a leader to work with people as well as social systems to gain their support and allegiance. Leaders usually make use of various strategies to gain political power, for instance social exchange. Finally, reward power. It arises from the ability to reward the worthy behavior. The leader has the power to provide tangible rewards, including time off and promotions, in addition to psychological rewards, such as praise, approval, and recognition. This power is ineffective if abused (Montana & Charnov, 2008).
There is a distinct relationship between power and influence. While power is the capacity to produce effects on others, influence is the degree of actual change due to power (Bacon, 2011). Power and influence play a major role in the correlation between the leader and followers. Examples of key skills of influencing: mutual respect, dependence, trustworthiness, good personal relationship, positive feedback, clear instructions, and knowing when to speak and to remain silent. In this regard, the power of influence is a regarded as a direct exertion of influence by the leader. Power is contextual because the potential to influence relies on the context of the relationship. Therefore, a person in a powerful position is also influential.
Antonakis, J., Cianciolo, A., & Sternberg, R. (2004). The nature of leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Bacon, T. (2011). The Elements of Power: Lessons on Leadership and Influence. New York: AMACOM Div American Management Association.
Bass, B., & Bass, R. (2009). The Bass Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research, and Managerial Applications. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Hersey, P., Blanchard, H., & Johnson, E. (1996). Management of organizational behavior: Utilizing human resources, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Montana, Patrick J.; Charnov, Bruce H. (2008). Management. Hauppauge, NY: Barrons Educational Series. Read More
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