Tom Peters has rightly said, “Leaders do not create followers, they create more leaders.”
In today’s competitive world, there is no doubt that leadership is a necessary skill to have. Power is a necessary ingredient to leadership. To be an efficient leader, you need to understand how to use power and what it implies when you do so. To be a leader is much more than managing workers and responsibilities. Leadership is a skill that requires both knowledge and experience to make it efficient. The wielding of power is one of the major tools at a leader’s disposition. Power is used to serve or undermine an organization’s goals. It is much more than mere confidence. Power is a vital tool for establishing change within your circle of influence. If used efficiently, the use of power will earn respect and gain results. If used inappropriately, it can weaken a company and lead to stagnation.
Possessing an understanding of the types of power and how they can be used or misused is necessary. It determines the ability of a person to make decisions that will affect both the sphere of influence and the personal core values. Let’s explore the types of power in leadership.
In an organization, legitimate power is the power of position or role. It is also known as “Positional Power.” Legitimate Power is the power granted to an individual because of the position they hold in the organization. Legitimate power is independent of the personal attributes or characteristics of an individual. It is always associated with a position. Legitimate power exists only when there is a formal structure in an organization. It is independent of the individual.
Every person in a position of power – and everyone who wants to be in such a position – needs to understand the concept of referent power. Referent power stems from a person who is able to attract, persuade, and build a loyal following. It is also the kind of power that motivates workers to go the extra mile and attain greater levels of performance. This power is not solely about the person in charge wielding it but also about those around them rising to the challenge.
Expert power is a type of power that comes from one’s expertise; it is particularly potent when an organization has a high need for expert knowledge. Experts are people with advanced knowledge and skill in their fields who are respected by their peers for their knowledge. An expert can influence how groups and individuals make decisions and how they implement those decisions. Expert power is particularly useful for managers, leaders, and organizational consultants.
Information is power, at least the way the proverb goes, but everyone has information that they want to keep or share. As technology advances, new ways to store and protect information arise, but the message remains the same: information is power, and those with access to information have a powerful advantage.
Being accustomed to the different types of power is an outstanding addition to any leader’s skill set. Using power in combination with the values ascribe the leaders and organization to the next logical step.
Attend the Compliance Prime webinar to learn more about the sources of leadership power.