Power – Use it Wisely Or Pay the Price

The truth about FFPOWER is that it is a necessary ingredient for leaders who want to get thing done. It can be either good or bad depending upon how it is used. Some people seek out power, while others either don’t know they have it or don’t choose to use it. Smart leaders realize that they need to have enough power to implement their vision. They will seek to acquire and use it in a positive way to move their organization forward. They will deliberately build a power base that they need to be successful. So what are the sources of power? How do leaders acquire power? Generally power is acquired in these seven ways:

1. Position power: People who occupy a position of authority have a certain amount of power that is simply associated with that position. They can either enhance it or degrade it. However, simply by holding a leadership position in an organization, they will be able to exercise some level of power solely due to the fact that they have the title or are formally designated as the leader.

2. Expert power: Some people acquire expert power through their knowledge. They are experts in their field and people recognize them as the “go to person” when someone needs insights into how to solve a problem or understand how something works. They acquire this power though disciplined study and sharing their knowledge with others over time. Some people may have a degree or other formal designation to support their claim to be an expert, but the key to retaining expert power is the actual knowledge that someone has about something of importance to the organization.

3. Task Power: Power associated with a task is related to their ability to either help or hinder someone or some process based on their ability to complete the task. Every process is a series to steps or tasks that need to be completed. Some tasks are more important than others, and some can only be done by a very few individuals. If there are only one or two people who can complete a particular task, then they will have more power than others where there are lots of people who can do it. In some ways this might be similar to position power, but it generally is more specifically related to a discreet task rather than a general leadership position. Sometimes they might also be referred to as “gate keepers’ because the can exert control on the process or access to people and resources.

4. Charisma Power: Some people are blessed with a winning personality and can light up a room. Others are celebrities who have become famous or infamous based on their previous publicity. People who have an engaging personality or who have some degree of celebrity have charisma power. Sometimes this might be known as personal power. Regardless of what it is called, the power is specific to the individual and is only available to those who have the charm or personality to garner this type of power.

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