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Types of Power

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

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

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Types of Leadership Power

One aspect that is often overlooked in the development of business leaders is the effective use of power.  Self-aware leaders are attuned to how they exercise power and the effect that it has on their direct reports.

When working with leaders, I often ask them to discuss the difference between authority, power, and leadership.  Leaders should then assess their own power preferences and strategies by analyzing the seven types of power listed below:

1. Coercive Power – Power based on the threat of punishment.

2. Competence Power – Power comes from having a high level of expertise, experience, and/or credentials

3. Reward Power –Power that comes with the promise of rewards: pay, recognition, promotion, perks, celebration, time, etc.

4. Institutional Power—This is power that comes from a leader’s position in the organization.

5. Interpersonal Power—This is power that comes from positive personal connections.  A request or directive is honored because of positive feelings toward the leader.

6. Reason Power—This power comes from the belief that a leader is being reasonable and is asking his/her reports to do what is right and beneficial.


Discussion Questions:

  1. As a leader, do you have power preferences?

  2. Do different circumstances require or demand certain types of power usages?

  3. When can one type of power be overused?

  4. What are some examples of power mismatches; where the power choice was the wrong use of power for the situation or the person?

  5. What are some common misuses of power in business organizations?