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  • Writer's pictureVirginia de Bond

Influence and Power

Updated: Nov 4, 2018

Power is the potential of a person

Facilitate Effective Organizational Life

To reach organizational goals, it is important that the leaders ensure that the organization has a skillful and effective workforce. The older generation keeps getting older. At the same time; the younger generation is getting into the work force. Further, there are matured employees and immature employees. There are different skill levels between different employees. Further, there are different personality types. The organization must find a balance between these groups, to make a measurable value to the benefit of the organization.

Immature employees

If the organization has employees without sufficient skills, it is often a challenge to the manager to make them perform at the required level, to keep up with the performance goals. Unskilled employees will cost money and time. Managers should have a high tolerance level when managing them. Employees with no skills are less experience and need guidance quite often. These employees must follow policies and procedures and constant overseeing of job functions. Rules and regulations should be taught.

Power is the potential of a person, that can influence the behavior of another person, according to the powerful person’s thoughts and wishes. Leaders use power to achieve goals. Power can be divided in two ways, formal power, and personal power.

Formal Power has three bases.

1. Coercive Power –The employee will be punished for failing to fulfil a task. Coercive power is the opposite of reward power.

2. Reward Power – the Employee, will be rewarded upon completion a fulfil a task. The reward can be financial or non- financial.

3. Legitimate Power – Authority to control and use organizational resources based on person’s structural position in the organization. Example –president, school principal, judge.

Personal power has two bases.

1. Expert power – Power that a person has over another person due to knowledge and the special skills.

2. Referent Power – Power of an individual over a team based on high level of identification, admiration or respect. Examples: nationalism, patriots, celebrities.

Personal source of power is more effective than coercive power. Ask the following questions from yourself.

How well do you know yourself?

How do you, as a leader, use your power to get things done?

Leadership is offering value to others, being able to serve others. Try to be focused so that the leader can offer more and more value to others, lead the staff based on vision. I believe until an individual is capable of leading himself or herself, the possibility of external leadership simply does not exist. Leadership is leading myself. Personal leadership is the key to success in my personal life and every aspect my life. A person need to have the control of his/her life. There is no benefit to lead others if the leader do not have control over his/her life. sometimes, people are ruled and driven by fear. Once realized, that fear paralyzed their life and fear reflect as false experiences appearing as real. The power of leadership is regaining power over ourselves. Mastering our lives is being able to control our selves. Once the fear is replaced, doubt, and disbelief is replaced with clarity vision and passion. Leading through expert power which is very effective.

There are some rulers who have used power to build cities, promote arts and feed the poor. Power can be used negatively for unethical or harmful uses. Coercive power can be damaging. Some rulers have abused their power by burgling their subject’s wealth, turning prisoners into slaves and committing mass murder, they can do anything they want. Occasionally limited power can be used for corruption. People with formal authority have the legal right to use power. Unlimited power is always corrupt.

Dependency increase the power - To be more effective, leaders create dependency constantly.

Personal expert power works better all the time. Great leaders don’t tell you what to do. They show you what to do. Always focused on solutions, not problems. They collaborate, advocate and lead by example. Good leaders care about the success of the others. They are winners of all cultures.

Coercive Power - The employee will be punished for failing to fulfil a task. Punishment doesn’t work in all cases. Leaders should avoid punishment. In case a leader is using coercive power, the leaders should take extra caution. There are certain conditions that must be met to punish someone. Punishment should be exercised right away instead of creating an environment. You cannot punish a person for something he or she did long time ago. An employee might try to do things, not to get caught. An employee may retaliate, and the punishment can be harmful to the leader at times.


Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2017). Organizational behavior (17th ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Leadership is Love: The Power of Human Connections | Dr. Mark Rittenberg | TEDxCincinnati

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