Leadership and Power

Topics: Management, Leadership, Authority Pages: 5 (1689 words) Published: September 12, 2009
Power is a fascinating concept. Babies experience power related to obtaining nourishment and comfort; adults recognize how power affects their jobs, lifestyle and relationships. Sometimes, giving away power means you get more. Sometimes delineating your power boundaries is necessary for survival. That is why power is paradoxical its outcomes are counterintuitive to the inputs. The law of attraction suggests a principle of cause and effect that you influence your own reality and the responses you receive from those around you. Therefore, power begins with and is retained by knowing yourself and understanding the position of relevant others. Reflect upon your ability to listen objectively to points of view different from your own. Influence with or without formal authority is essential today. If cross-functional collaboration or internal consulting is valued in your work, you appreciate the power resulting from building strong rapport (Chilcote & Reece 2009). Introduction

Power and leadership are used in everyday business organizations to give a general understanding of what it means to be powerful. Power is the ability of one person to influence another (Robbins & Judge 2009). They can use this power to become leaders and to manage businesses. Power also brings influence on the behavior and attitudes of other people. The demand for power is common among the business world. There is a difference in power and authority. Formal power is based on an individual’s position in an organization. Formal power can come from the ability to coerce or reward or it can come from formal authority (Robbins & Judge 2009). Only people who hold formal positions have authority, whereas all people at any level of an organized company have the power to influence other people. Authority is power. It is power on another level. Power is obvious and understood, while authority is a particular position. Leadership and Power

Leadership and power are use to influence people’s behavior. Power promotes stability, order, and problem solving within the organization whereas leadership power promotes vision, creativity, and change in the organization. One important factor within power and leadership is the distribution of power. In my opinion, distributing power equally throughout the company with the exception of authority figures,bringing about a higher performance in an organization's operating systems, to make decisions. If companies did not have CEO's or managers, there would be too many power starving people and much more chaos. They keep the business flow organized. They make sure that their employees follow through with their jobs and support the business's purpose. _Sources of Power in a Formal Organization_

There are five genuine sources of power. They are coercive power reward power, legitimate power, expert power, and referent power. All of these prove to be valid in getting a deeper insight to the sources of power. Coercive Power

Coercive power is dependent on fear. It has the potential reaction for resistance (Robbins & Judge 2009). Punishment serves as an intimidator. Fear of punishment is not the same as respect of authority. Employees are more likely to resist when they know they will be punished because it takes away their dignity and respect for themselves in a working environment. Reward Power

Reward power is opposite of coercive power. People comply with the wishes or directives of another because doing so produces positive benefits; therefore, one can distribute rewards that others view as valuable will have power over those of others (Robbins & Judge 2009). Once the access to the rewards or punishment is taken away by the organization, people start to resist the leader and his demands. Legitimate Power

Legitimate power represents the formal authority to control and use organizational resources (Robbins & Judge 2009). It is better described as having power, but abilities to give rewards and...

References: Becker, R.H. (2006). Power and Leadership. Retrieved from http://www.strom.clemson.edu/becker/prtm320/notes/power320.pdf on September 6, 2009.
Chilcote, A., & Reece, S. (2009, June). Power Paradox. Leadership Excellence, 26(6), 8-9. Retrieved September 6, 2009, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1753393651).
MarkHeinlein.com (2008). Formal and Informal Power. Retrieved from http://markheinlein.com/2008/08/16/formal-and-informal-power/ on September 6, 2009.
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