There are five primary sources of leader power: coercive, reward, legitimate, expert, and referent. Each source provides the leader with different abilities to influence and control followers.
Coercive power is based on the leader’s ability to use threats or force to get followers to comply with their demands. This type of power is usually only effective in the short-term as it can lead to resentment and resistance from followers over time. Reward power is based on the leader’s ability to offer rewards or positive reinforcement to encourage desired behaviours from followers. This type of power can be effective in both the short and long-term, but requires that the leader has access to resources that followers value.
Legitimate power is based on theleader’s formal position or authority within an organization. Followers will generally comply with requests from a legitimate authority figure out of a sense of obligation or duty. Expert power is based on theleader’s expertise or knowledge in a particular domain. Followers will defer to the leader’s expertise when making decisions in areas where they lack knowledge themselves. Referent power is based on theleader’s personal characteristics that make them likable or respected by others. Followers are more likely to comply with requests from a referent leader because they want to.
Legitimate power. This is a type of formal power that you receive when you occupy a certain position in your organization
In the business world, people in leadership positions have a certain level of authority that gives them the power to make decisions and get people to comply with those decisions. This type of power is called legitimate power and it comes from the position that a person holds in an organization.
While legitimate power is often thought of as coming from the top down, it can also come from bottom up. For example, if you are a manager, you may have legitimate power over your subordinates, but if you are respected by your subordinates for your knowledge and experience, then you may also have legitimacy power coming from the bottom up.
The source of your legitimacy power will affect how you use it. If your legitimacy power comes from your position in the organization, then you may be more likely to use it for things like making decisions or getting people to do what you want them to do. On the other hand, if your legitimacy power comes more from respect and admiration, then you may be more likely to use it for things like motivating and inspiring people or helping them solve problems.
No matter where your legitimate power comes from or how you choose to use it, remember that with great power comes great responsibility. As a leader with legitimacy power, it’s important that you use it wisely and for the good of those who follow you.
When used correctly, reward power can be a very useful tool for leaders. However, it is important to note that rewards should only be given when they are truly deserved. Giving someone a reward for something they did not do well or did not accomplish is not only ineffective, but it can also backfire and cause resentment.
When using reward power, it is important to be clear about what the reward is for and why it is being given. People need to know that there is a reason behind the reward in order to feel motivated by it. Simply giving someone a random gift or bonus without any explanation will likely not have the desired effect.
Leaders should also avoid using rewards as a way to control people or manipulate them into doing something they might not otherwise do. This type of behavior can create an environment of fear and mistrust, which is counterproductive to creating a productive and cohesive team.
As an expert, people will look to you for guidance and advice. This can be a great source of power, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. You need to be able to back up your claims with evidence and provide sound reasoning for your recommendations. If you are seen as an expert, people are more likely to trust and respect you, which can give you a lot of influence over them.
One way to build expert power is to share your knowledge with others. When you share what you know, people will see you as an authority figure on the subject matter. You can do this by writing articles, giving speeches, or teaching classes. Another way to build expert power is to have formal credentials or certification in your area of expertise. This shows that you have put in the time and effort to learn about your topic and that you are considered an expert by others in the field.
Having expert power can be very useful when trying to persuade others or get them to take action. However, it is important not use your position of authority for personal gain or agendas not related to work tasks at hand; this could quickly erode trust and respect from those who see you as an expert figurehead..