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There are many different types of power in leadership. Some are more obvious than others.
In this article, we will discuss the nine most common types of power in leadership. To be successful, It is essential to understand and utilize all the different energy available to you!
What does it mean by “the power of leadership”?
Power is the ability to influence others. Leaders use power to get things done and make things happen. Power is not synonymous with leadership, but all leaders have power.
Many leaders have power because of their position in the workplace. They possess a type of power known as positional power. Other leaders have what is known as personal power, which comes from their individual qualities and abilities.
Leaders use their power to achieve their goals and objectives. They may also use their power to help others achieve their goals. Unfortunately, in some cases, leaders abuse their power and use it for personal gain.
When leaders misuse their power, it can have negative consequences. For example, employees may become resentful and rebel against the leader. In extreme cases, power struggles can lead to violence.
When used correctly, however, power can be a positive force. Leaders who can use their power wisely can achieve great things and make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Related: Leadership Philosophies
9 Types of Power in Leadership
There are different types of power, and each class can be used differently. The nine most common types of power in leadership are:
1. Coercive Power
Coercive power is a type of power that leaders use to get people to do things that they don’t want to do. Coercive power is often associated with negative connotations but can also be used for good.
For example, a leader may use coercive power to get their team to work harder or meet a deadline. Coercive control can be used in various ways, such as through threats, punishments, or even promises of rewards.
The key is to use coercive power in a fair, just, and practical way. Used properly, coercive power can be an essential tool for leaders.
2. Reward Power
Reward power is based on the leader’s ability to offer rewards for compliance. A leader may use reward power to incentivize team members to achieve specific goals. Reward power can motivate team members to achieve specific goals or objectives.
For example, a lender may offer a bonus or pay raise to meet a certain sales quota. Reward power can effectively motivate team members, but using it fairly and consistently is essential.
Otherwise, team members may feel that they are being unfairly rewarded or punished. Giving rewards will increase their moral power.
3. Referent Power
Referent power is a type of power that is based on the leader’s expertise or knowledge in a particular area. Leaders with Referent power are often seen as thought leaders in their field. In addition, this type of power is often used to influence others to follow the leader’s direction.
Referent power is often seen as a positive form of power because it is based on the leader’s ability to provide valuable information or expertise.
However, Referent power can also be used negatively if the leader uses their knowledge to manipulate or control others.
4. Expert Power
Expert power is based on the leader’s expertise or knowledge in a particular area. Leaders with specialist power are often seen as thought leaders in their field. Therefore, expert management is usually most effective when the leader is an expert.
When used effectively, expert power can be a very effective tool for leaders to influence their followers. However, specialist power can also be abused, and many experts have been known to use their knowledge to manipulate and control others. As such, leaders need to use expert power responsibly.
5. Legitimate Power
Legitimate power is a type of power that comes from a leader’s position or title. Leaders with legitimate power have the authority to make decisions and give orders. This type of power is essential because it allows leaders to get things done and make decisions that will impact the people they lead.
Legitimate power is often used in business and government settings because it can be an effective way to get things done.
However, legitimate power can also be abused if leaders are not careful. Therefore, it is essential for leaders to use their reasonable control positively and to make sure they use it to help the people they lead.
6. Connection Power
Connection power is the ability of a leader to connect with others on a personal level. This type of power often comes from the leader’s compassion and relatability. Connection power is often seen as a positive force. It can help leaders build trust and rapport with their followers.
However, connection power can also be used to manipulate and control others. In some cases, leaders with connection power may use their influence to coerce or pressure others into doing things they may not want to do.
As such, those in positions of power need to use their influence responsibly. Otherwise, they may abuse their position and cause harm to those they are supposed to be helping.
7. Informational Power
Informational power is a type of power that is based on the leader’s ability to access and share information.
Leaders with informational power are often seen as being well-informed and resourceful. They use their knowledge to influence others and get things done. Informational power can be used in various ways, from sharing helpful information to using knowledge to trade with others to see things from your point of view.
While information power is not the only type of power that leaders can possess, it is a valuable tool that can help leaders to achieve their goals.
8. Charismatic Power
Charismatic power is a type of power that comes from a leader’s charm and ability to inspire. Leaders with charismatic power are often seen as being motivating and exciting. They can influence others by appealing to their emotions and encouraging them to achieve great things.
Charismatic leaders are often very effective at mobilizing and rallying people behind a cause or goal.
9. Expertise Power
Expertise power is the kind of power that comes from a leader’s knowledge and expertise in a particular area. Leaders with expertise and power are often thought leaders in their field.
Expertise power is based on the belief that an effective leader possesses something of value that others do not have.
This type of power is most effective when the leader can share their knowledge and expertise with others in a helpful and informative way. When used effectively, expertise power can help leaders to gain the respect and trust of those they lead.
Related: Strength of a Leader
Formal power Vs. Informal Power
A leader’s influence can come from either formal or informal power sources.
Formal power is derived from a leader’s position or title and gives them the authority to make decisions and give orders.
Informal power, on the other hand, comes from a leader’s characteristics, such as charisma or likability.
People are more likely to follow a leader they respect and admire. This power comes from a leader’s charm and ability to inspire. Leaders with informal power are often seen as being motivating and exciting. The source of a leader’s power will generally dictate the dynamics of the leader-follower relationship.
For example, a leader with formal power may be more autocratic, while a leader with informal power may be more democratic. Ultimately, both types of leaders can be effective if they use their influence wisely.
Related: What Are the 5 Qualities of a Good Leader?
We have explored the nine types of power in leadership to be a successful leader. Understanding and utilizing all of these different types of energy is essential.
Which type of power do you feel most comfortable using? Let us know in the comment section below!
What is Important Power or leadership?
It depends on the context. For example, in a business context, power is Important because it enables one to make things happen and get results. In a political context, leadership is essential because it allows one to inspire others to follow a vision or set of values and achieve collective goals. So, in short, power is about getting things done, while leadership is about getting people to buy into something and work together towards a common goal.
How does leadership relate to power?
While leadership and power are related, they are not the same thing. Power is the ability to influence others, while leadership is the ability to motivate and inspire them. A leader may have power, but that doesn’t mean they are a good leader. Conversely, someone who doesn’t have much power can still be an effective leader by using their charisma and personality to motivate and inspire others. Ultimately, it’s more important to be a good leader than to have power.
Why should a leader have power?
There are many reasons why a leader should have power. First and foremost, power allows a leader to get things done. With power comes authority, and with control comes the ability to make decisions and take action. A passionate leader can make things happen, whereas a leader without power is simply a figurehead. Another reason leaders should have power is that it gives them personal power. Personal power is influencing others and getting them to do what they want.
How do influential leaders use power?
Leaders can use their power effectively to inspire and motivate their followers to achieve great things. Moreover, influential leaders use their power fairly and ethically, building trust among their followers. As a result of this type of leadership, followers are more likely to be productive and committed to the organization’s goals.
What is the role of power in leadership?
The role of power in leadership is contested and complex. While some argue that energy is necessary for effective leadership, others contend that too much power can lead to corruption and abuse. A leader’s appropriate power level depends on the specific situation and context.