Leadership and Power – Part 2

By SkyeTeam on January 5, 2016

Posted by SkyeTeam | January 5, 2016Leadership and Power – Part 2In part I of this blog series we explored the four types of Position Power. In this blog we will continue our conversation on Power as we explore Personal Power. Personal power is a leader’s personal influence. It has to do with the amount of respect, trust and support they have from others. We cannot be given this power; we have to earn this power.The three types of Personal Power include:ExpertInformationReferentExpert power is based on the leader’s possession of expertise, skill, and knowledge, which gains the respect of others. A leader high in expert power is seen as possessing the expertise to facilitate the work behavior of others. This respect for expertise enables a leader to influence the behavior of others. We have heard that knowledge is power and that is true only if it is shared. Leaders often make the mistake of believing that they need to withhold knowledge so that they are more valuable. This action will erode your expert power. Increasing your expert power means sharing valuable information in a way that can be understood and used.Information power is based on the leader’s possession of or access to information that is perceived as valuable to others. This power base influences because others need this information or want to be “in on things”. I heard a VP once say there are four lines in a company: the company line, the water cooler line, the grapevine and the sewer line. All of these “lines” are part of information power. Increasing our information power as a leader means sharing important information in a timely manner. We usually encourage leaders to flex up on the amount of information they are sharing. What is interesting is that there are many individuals that have a tremendous amount of information power within the organization and not necessarily using it in a healthy way. These are the participants in the toxic chains; sharing information about others or the organization that is inappropriate or harmful. Leaders need to be careful to monitor what they are sharing and who they are sharing it about.Referent power is based on the leader’s personal traits. A leader high in referent power is generally liked and admired by others because of personality. This liking for, admiration for, and identification with the leader influences others. Leaders strong in referent power are often strong in social and emotional intelligence. Referent power either strengthens or erodes one conversation or action at a time. Building this type of power can potentially take a long time and can be eroded completely in one action.So which type of power is the number one reason why people will follow you? First is Legitimate followed by referent, expert, reward and then coercive. This is often helpful for individuals who have the very difficult role of a lead or foreman. They do not technically have a lot of legitimate power but they can use referent and expertise to influence their team members to get the job done.In closing, I was given a wonderful quote by a participant just this week from the book Business Unusual by Price Pritchett:Your job title is just a label. “Leader” is a reputation…and you personally have to earn it. When leadership gets killed, it’s through self-inflicted wounds. The things you personally do, or don’t do, determine what caliber leader you will be. Seize the opportunity! Good advice.Related ArticlesLeadership and PowerThe word power has an interesting presence in our language. It can be thought of as something strong, action oriented, or the ability to influence others and have a positive impact on others. We use language such as “I felt empowered” or “she is so powerful.” The shadow side of…December 22, 2015In "Leadership and Management"A Comprehensive Model for Leadership DevelopmentOver the years we have found that many leadership development programs focus on one or two areas of development but not all the core competencies that create highly effective leaders. Some programs focus heavily on business acumen but leave out the leadership skills or vice versa. The impact is that…January 19, 2016In "Leadership and Management"Weekly Roundup #6Welcome to the Cultivate@Work Weekly Roundup. Each week we scour the Internet for stories and ideas of how people cultivate winning relationships at work and share them in this blog. It’s perfect for anyone interested in applying the ideas and techniques from Cultivate. The Power of Winning Relationships by SkyeTeam…November 18, 2015In "Cultivate@Work"Tags »leadershipleadership development Share
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