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High-Power Leadership 



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Leadership Insights:

Leadership Tips: Simple, on-the-job self improvement ideas to strengthen your leadership skills

Stress: A dozen strategies to reduce on-the-job stress

Leadership Articles: Leadership and team development insights by Jeff Appelquist

Time Management: Strategies and activities to help business leaders manage their time

Leadership Styles: Overview of the frameworks, theories, and styles of leadership

Leadership Power: Six types of power for business leaders

Delegation: Understanding the skill of delegating effectively

Decision Making: Understanding sound decision making

Personalized Growth Plan: Design and begin a personalized leadership growth plan

Communication Tips: Leaders know how to communicate effectively

The Power of Praise: Meaningful praise is a powerful and important motivator

Understanding Feedback: There are five main categories of feedback 

Leadership Responsibilities: A team leader's responsibilities to his or her team

Leader/Team Tension: Leader behavior that can weaken team cohesiveness

Management Framework: A process outline for achieving results

Strategic Planning: Determine where your team has been and where it wants to be

Talent Development: Guidelines for developing the talents of your team members

Engagement Misconceptions: Twelve misconceptions about employee engagement

High-Power Leadership: When does leadership power become counterproductive

Succession Planning: Guidelines for a successful succession program

High-Powered Leaders:  When Leadership Power Becomes Counterproductive

What is the connection between power and leadership?  Does having unassailable authority make you a better leader? Three business researchers-- Leigh Plunkett Tost of the University of Washington, Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School, and Richard P. Larrick of Duke University—suggest that too much power can have a negative effect on one’s leadership effectiveness.  In a paper written for the Harvard Business School the researchers support the following conclusions:

  1. High-power leaders often dampen the productive exchange of ideas at meetings.  The reason for this includes the common perception that the powerful leader is the gatekeeper of quality ideas and, because of this, he/she isn’t particularly interested in the ideas of underlings. Certainly this perception isn’t necessarily fair, but it often permeates the thinking of team members who have high-power leaders.  Results can be devastating because potentially productive ideas are not presented. 

  2. The authors argue that a leader's experience of heightened power produces verbal dominance, which reduces perceptions of leader openness and team open communication.”  In short, team members begin to feel that the high-power leader doesn’t really have an interest in open communication.  The resulting lack of frank communication damages team interaction and synchronization.

  3. High-power leaders run the risk of falling into a psychological ethos where team members feel inhibited, fearful, and devalued.  Within this kind of psychological environment teams will quickly become dysfunctional.

The authors suggest that these potentially negative effects of perceived power can be overcome if the leader makes it abundantly clear that each team member is a valued contributor. Not only must the high-powered leader articulate this notion frequently, but he/she must act accordingly.