Why are some leaders more powerful than others?

Topics: Leadership, Strategic management, Positive psychology Pages: 5 (1799 words) Published: September 14, 2014
Essay question:

"The led must not be compelled; they must be able to choose their own leader." Albert Einstein
“No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent.”
 Abraham Lincoln
Why are some leaders more powerful than others?
Is there one “best style” of leadership or does it depend on who is following? Do women followers prefer a different leadership style than men followers?

When I think of great leaders, a few names come to my mind: Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi. A strong leader has the power and the ability to influence and motivate followers with excitement and vision, binding together a nation, a company or an organisation. They can produce a willingness within their people to follow their lead, beliefs and methods. That is why some leaders are more powerful than others; their power of persuasion is resilient. Great man theory assume that the capacity for leadership is inherent – that great leaders are born, not made. I believe there is no best style of leadership but some can expose possive effect depending on how it is use and also in considering the organisation environnement and culture.

Power is the ability to get someone to make things you want done and make things happen in the way you want. We can distinguish different types position and organisational power. Personal Power: position power (power of an individual because of the relative position and duties in an organisation), referent power (power to attract others and build loyalty, based on the charisma and interpersonal skill of the power holder), expert power (individual’s power deriving from the skills or expertise of the person and the organisation needs for the same). Organisational Power: Legitimate power (the power a person received as a result of his or her position in the formal hierarchy of the organisation), reward power (refer to the degree to which the individual can give others a reward of some kind such benefits, time off, desired gift, promotion or increase in pay or responsibility), coercive power (The person has the power to control punishment or devotions) (Hunt, Osborn & Schermerhorn 2000, p. 468-471) Some leaders acquire both personal (expert, referent) and organizational (legitimate, reward, coercive) forms of power, which gives them the ability to influence others. Leaders managed their power effectively to earn respect and get people to commit to their endeavours. The personal forms of power are more strongly related to organizational commitment and job performance than the organizational forms. I firmly believe that leaders who have charisma (Yukl 2005, p 250), confidence, emotional intelligence, and social skills (sense of humour) are more likely to be powerful than those who do not have those qualities.

Leadership is a transformation and is something above management, it is not something that you’re born with, it is you own idea that you learn once you know what it is; leaders transform their views and motivations of others from self-interest to group interest, and from compliance to willingness. Leaders teach their followers to take on leadership role and perform beyond their expectations. In the big 5 theory of personality, extraversion in one of the five core traits believe to make up human personality. Extraversion is characterized by sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness and excitability. There are five different leadership styles; as to know, Autocratic (Iron lady), democratic, Laissez-faire or "hands-off", transactional leadership, transformational leaders. (Richard Branson). The most appropriate leadership style depends on the situation; the theory of the contingency leadership (Gill 2006, p. 47) assumes that effective leader should be both insightful and flexible. Leader must have high emotional intelligence so that they can diagnose the circumstances and match their behaviours accordingly. Leadership who create a strategic vision, communicate the vision (elevate...

References: Block A., Crawford, K. 2013, Gender Stereotyping of Leadership Behaviors: Social Metacognitive Evidence, 1st ed,, Sciknow Publications Ltd, Montana.
Collins, N. 2012, Men and women have distinct personalities. The Telegraph, viewed14 of 14 May 2014, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8992639/Men-and-women-have-distinct-personalities.html
Gill, R. 2006, Theory and practice of leadership, 1st ed., SAGE Publications, London.
Owen, H., Hodgson, V. & Gazzard, N. 2004, The leadership manual, 1st ed, Pearson/Prentice Hall Business, London.
Parry, K. 1996, Transformational leadership. 1st ed, Pitman Publishing, Melbourne.
Riggio, R. 2009, Are You a Transformational Leader. Psychology Today: Here to Help, PsycologyToday, Viewed 14 May 2014,
Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 1994. Organisational behaviour. 5th ed. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Welbourne, 2005, Women “Take Care,” Men “Take Charge:”. 1st ed, CATALYST, New York.
Yukl, G. 2006, Leadership in organizations, 1st ed, Pearson/Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ
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