LEADERSHIP AND POWER PAPER 6
Leadershipand Power Paper
Leadershipand Power Paper
Thecorrelation between leadership and power is admissible. As a result,some key variables can be examined in the relationship. This paperassesses the relationship between the following components: power andits relationship to leadership, different types of power, and therelationship between influence and power.
Powerand Its Relationship to Leadership
Peopledefine power in diverse ways. For the purpose of this paper, theconcept is defined as the ability to influence the mood and conductof others by coercing them or through possession of authority thatmakes them act in a particular manner (Terry, 2011). Leadership isenhanced and can be loosely be described as one’s ability toexercise power through diverse approaches. It can, therefore, bestated that leaders who possess power in any form, have thecapability to lead. In separate instances, it is difficult for one toclaim leadership without acquiring some kind of power. Consequently,power allows a leader to model a style of leadership that resonateswith different situations.
Powerin most cases provides insight into the real character of a leader bythe amount of leeway he or she can give to the followers.Interestingly, the more the leader gives up power, the more powerfulthe leader becomes. This concept of power has been examined indetail, making a clear distinction between persuasive and coercivepower (Pareek, 2007).
Poweris also related to leadership since it forms the basis in which onecan exercise authority and legitimize their manner and style ofleadership. For instance, in the recent years, there has been a shiftfrom the emphasis on coercive power to persuasive power (Pareek,2007).
Thechange has resulted in leaders adopting Laissez-faire styles ofleadership, as opposed to the authoritative approach. Imperatively,for an administrator to exercise authority and influence others,power becomes an essential component of the leadership.
Accordingto the article “The Bases of Power” written by two sociologists,John French and Bertram Raven, power originates from five primarypoints. The aspects include legitimate, coercive, expert, reward andreferent (Terry, 2011). Legitimate power or positional power ariseswhen one holds a particular position in a given organization orcommunity. Therefore, it can be argued that legitimate power comeswhen those in an organization recognize the authority of theindividual holding the senior most position. The power is accordedafter the evaluation of various factors including the leader’scapability and qualifications. Secondly, expertise power is derivedfrom one’s skills, knowledge, and experience. Accordingly, as onegains understanding and familiarity in certain areas, they becomeexperts and can use their power to either influence others, engage orhelp them to meet the set objectives (Merchant, 2016).
Athird situation is whereby, referent power comes from the trust andrespect that one earns based on how they handle situations. Forexample, human resource managers in an organization gain this powerbased on the fact that people trust them and are confident in theirability to ensure that all employees are treated fairly. In thefourth instant, it can out rightly be argued that reward power ariseswhen individual employees in an organization are remunerated forreasons such as compliance and their meeting or exceeding the settargets. These incentives come in the form of salary increments, jobpromotions, and positive appraisals. Reward power is highlymotivational and in most instances, those who wield this kind ofpower influence the actions of other employees.
Lastly,coercive power arises from one’s ability to influence othersthrough sanctions, punishment or/and threats (Merchant, 2016).Coercive power is delicate since it intimidates employees and forcesthem to submit to the existing authority as a way of retaining theirrelevance in an organization.
Relationshipbetween Influence and Power
Influenceand power are essential in enhancing leadership. Leaders need thepower to enable them to execute their functions and roles in acompany (Newman, 2011). Imperatively, while using the authorityderived from this power, they can influence both employees and otherstakeholders in implementing important organization goals andlong-term objectives (Terry, 2011). Importantly, a leader who haspower but cannot influence followers may encounter challenges whileattempting to navigate the set administrative goals and objectives.Influence is the ability of a leader to compel others to producedactions, behavior and opinions aimed at helping the organization tomove from one level to the next. Therefore, influence works in tandemwith power to enhance one’s leadership ability. Without power, itcan be argued that influence does not exist. For any leadershipapproach to thrive, influence should super cede power so as toachieve the desired effect.
Theabove discussion underscores the fact that there is a relationshipbetween leadership and power. In addition, the paper argues thatinfluence is also an essential component in the affiliation. Inconclusion, it is imperative for a leader to possess both power andinfluence. This will enable him/her to lead the followerseffectively.
Merchant,P. (2016). 5Sources of Power in Organizations.Accessed on December 15, 2016
Newman,D. (2011). Power,Influence, and Leadership.Accessed on December 15, 2016 from
Pareek,U. (2007). OrganisationalLeadership and Power.ICFAI Books.
Terry,R. B. (2011). Elementsof Influence: The Art of Getting Others to Follow Your Lead.