People Most Respect the Powerful Not When They Exercise Their Power, but When They Refrain from Exercising It

Topics: Leadership, Management, Political philosophy Pages: 2 (452 words) Published: October 31, 2011
Power can be explained as the ability of one person (or group of people), to influence or force another person or group to comply to their wishes or ct in a certain manner as is required by the powerful. Some may argue that with the position of power comes in inherent responsibility to exert power and authority. Conversely, it is not the having, but the giving of power, that makes for effective leadership. These can be seen in the leadership styles of Authoritative leaders versus transformational leaders and even down to the most basic relationship of parent and child.

Today, authoritative leadership and parenting are regarded as archaic and ineffective. Furthermore, it is the giving of legitimate power that gains respect and cooperation from children as young as three years old, to employees as old eighty years.

Research has shown that when it comes to effective management and leadership, managers and leaders that adopt a transformational leadership style is much more effective in enabling positive performance results. Transformational leaders, unlike authoritative leaders refrain from using their power, but instead encourage and enable cooperation and collaboration from their staff. Employees are referred to as team members and problems are solved through brainstorming by all. Team members gain ownership over their performance outcomes and communication is encouraged and open.

On the contrary, authoritative leadership styles, lay down the law. It is their way of the highway and they hold on their power with everything they got. In the past this type of leadership and management style has kept people in their place, but it does not bring mew ideas and innovation. When you are just required to do your job day in and day out, and never given the opportunity to think of better and more efficient ways to get it done, the whole organization suffers.

That being said, the military and other such institutions still rely on authoritative leadership styles...
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