Leadership and Power

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.

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Therefore, power begins with and is retained by knowing yourself and understanding the position f 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 (Colette & Race 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 o 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 Coo’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 s 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 2009).

It is better described as having power, but abilities to give rewards and punishments are limited. Once leaders lose their position of authority, they lose their influential meaning for others. Expert Power Expert power is influence wielded because of expertise, special skill, or knowledge (Robbins & Judge 2009). This power shows having a potential reaction in the compliance area. If a leader proves to be educated and well trained in an area of business, the employees will abide and follow his wants and demands. If not however, the drive to succeed and meet the demands is lost.

Referent Referent power is identification with a person who has desirable resources or personal traits (Robbins and Judge 2009). This type of power has the best potential for committed employees. They agree with their surroundings and the people who hold authority over them. It is not like an intimidating or difficult work place, but one that agrees with their skills and beliefs. When the supervisor ND employee get along and hold a relationship that is positive, it accounts for a mutual understanding of the business requirements. Power has to come from somewhere, whether internal or external.

It stems forth from great leadership skills and a dependable foundation. Consequences Where there is power, there are also consequences that go along with it. It depends on how the power is used and to whom it is inflicted. The consequences range from a number of general effects. They are commitment, compliance, and resistance. Power is the stronghold for the three-fold outcome that is brought on through consequences. Commitment Compliance Resistance Resistance is opposed to carrying out the agent’s requests and decisions (Becker 2006).

They do not actively agree with their leader or authority figure and passively resist it. This can affect their efficiency as a worker and can set a poor example for the rest of the employees around them. They can set a low standard of thinking that they do not have to do the job because there are other people who can do it instead. The Dark Side of Leadership Power without accountability is blamed for many excesses, ranging from financial waste, fraud, or sexual harassment. There are causes of the dark side, uniqueness, and solutions that go along with it.

This means not all power is used with the same mindset. Some is used for the common good of all people, while other forms are one sided. The dark side of power is when leaders succeed at the employees’ expense. Too much power without accountability can lead to many negative consequences. Leaders distancing themselves from others in the organization lead to poor decision-making because leaders lack the information needed to make good judgments. Another consequence of excessive power is a sense of immorality.

In this case, the leaders see themselves subject to efferent rules than their subordinates. This can result in unethical and illegal activities, while expecting their subordinates to follow established rules. Some of the solutions that could bring follower’s closer to their leader are involving their leader in day-to-day activities, reducing the follower’s dependency on the leader, and involving outsiders in the decision-making process. These things may not prevent excessive power and abuse, but it can help.

By gaining a deeper understanding of the dark side of power, applying preventable measures can deter these things from coming between a leader, follower and the organization. Informal Power in an Organization Informal leaders are a bit more complex. An informal leader is an individual, without formal title or authority, who is perceived by the group as an individual worthy of being followed. This may be because of subject matter expertise, longevity with the company or in the industry, or prior successes recognized by the organization and/or team.

Informal leaders are critical to the success of the team and may wield more power and influence than the formal leader. Key differences between the two are informal leaders are not accountable to the same group goals and metrics assigned to the formal leader, an informal trader’s influence can extend to areas outside of the organizational goals, informal leaders demonstrate leadership traits that are recognized by the team. They motivate, mentor and even inspire the team. Formal leaders may or may not have these characteristics and an informal leader has garnered the trust and respect of the team.

For the formal leader, this is something that often has to be earned. Every organization and group has informal and formal leaders (Marketing. Com 2008). For example, the Administrative Assistant in our Department is the informal leader within our office. She has the longevity and knowledge of the court system to assist others in getting the job done, when the formal leader cannot assist in accomplishing the task. Informal leaders can do things that the formal leader cannot. Let us review the informal and formal organization chart.

In the informal chart, you have more friendships and close connections to another within the organization because of outside relationships. Informal power can cause havoc in an organization, because of the tendency to use the good old boy system. In the formal chart, you have more stability, structure, and everyone working towards the organization mission. Conclusion In conclusion, I have talked about power and leadership in the organization within the formal, informal and consequences aspects. The information that I have given all ties together in the sense that in an organization you have people with different types of power.

The source of the power is what they have and how they convey it to the employees. The most important topic, I think is the dark side of power thus allowing your organization to become unfit for normal operation. Just because you have power does not make you superior to other people it just puts you in charge. In my opinion, in order to be a successful leader n any organization you must make an effort to learn, acknowledge and respect your employees and the responsibilities of the organization.