Leadership is more of choice than a position meaning that everybody can play a leadership role. Leadership is the implementation of influence on an organization’s efforts to achieve its set goals and objectives (Herman, 2016). It demands unique leadership’s influence to impact actions, behavior in long-term manner effects. This influence has key points in that it should be direct and indirect, positive and individual and collective. Leadership positively drives the organization, employees, and society at large into a beneficial end hence overcoming negative impacts of human nature. For example, Nelson Mandela tore down oppressive leadership and installed democracy in Modern South Africa, and advocated for human rights through his good leadership. Negative leadership destroys forces of human nature, hindering the organization from achieving its goals. Adolph Hitler serves as an example of leaders who wrongly exercised their power negatively to his advantage. We will discuss the bases of individual leadership and the types of leadership influences.
Bases of Individual Power
Legitimate power is the power that is gained from the possession of a specific position in an organization. Other members are forced to comply with this kind of power whether they like it or not. Examples of legitimate power people are CEOs and Presidents, as they have power over people underneath them. For an individual to increase legitimate power, one should connect with peers with higher leaderships, leverage other formal tools, know the mandate, and open up the mind (Brinkmann, 2019). Individuals with legitimate power have the order to hold people accountable for their actions, provide recognition by awarding those who do well in the organization, and connect organization members to new opportunities. Legitimate power is glued to position, unlike referent and expert power, which is individual-based. In situations where managers, staff members, and the community wrongly interpret legitimate power, it can result in conflicts hindering the organization from achieving its purposes. As much as legitimate power can cause pressure due to its rank with position and not an individual, it’s essential as the power itself helps in dealing with uncooperative and destructive influencers in the organization. Legitimate power is the most exercised form of power in today’s business organization and the world as a whole.
Reward power Refers to the authority where the leaders reward individuals for meeting their wishes, where leaders have dominion over the rewards, and members value the given tips. Reward power is crucial when individuals observe direct relation between performance and reward (Riasi & Asadzadeh, 2015). Top management leaders use reward power to motivate individuals to work towards a specific task in exchange for a gift like promotion and a form of recognition. This type of power is effective in cases where leaders offer a suitable reward that is fair, valued, and along with what they can afford to deliver since it is non-manipulative. Excess use of reward power can result in individuals viewing the relationship between them and leaders to be transactional. Example employee will carry out a task simply because of a reward. The power should not be used in an impersonal way to avoid conflicts; instead, it should be used to honor activities that are well accomplished.
Expert power refers to how organizations perceive that a leader possesses unique skills, abilities, and knowledge. This power enables managers to carry out a task and come up with a solution within the world. Expert management is only applicable if members entirely rely on the leader’s skills and ability. The greater the problem, the faster the leader will research it, becoming an expert hence more knowledge and power the leader will have (Fleming et al., 2018). Expert power poses long-term trouble since other individuals gain more knowledge as time moves to make them question and challenge the leaders. An expert leader should have more balanced wisdom and avoid exaggerations. For a leader to maintain expert power, continuous training and research should be practiced.
When appropriately used without favoritism, reward power can greatly motivate and influence employees to work harder and intelligently. Motivation plays a huge role in employees concerning their performance. When employees are rewarded for work well done, they strive to do better next time to get better rewards; this hard work turns into better yield and performance for the organization. For example, when an employee carries a task on time, consistently, and without errors, the leader awards the employee through a promotion. The other employees will also be influenced to work smart for them to be recognized.
The audience seems to be more receptive to legitimate power, and this is because they have no option but to obey the set rules. Individuals will tend to abide by the country’s laws to avoid harsh actions taken on the failure to follow the rules. Members attend those in authority like CEOs as they have the power to connect them to better job ranks if their work output and ethics are well recommendable.
Coercive power can be used more positively by motivating employees rather than threatening them. When employees carry out tasks out of fear as much as the output is delivered, it may result in communication barriers between leaders and employees (Tian, 2021). Lack of communication leads to inadequate shared ideas hence more minor improvement in the organization. If coercive can be carried positively, the results can be as good as reward power results.
In conclusion, good leaders should be optimistic, positive, and self-driven to influence those under to follow the set examples. In an organization whose leader is considerate, determined, and free with the staff, the performance effectively leads to set goals and objectives. Leaders should avoid instilling fear for a job to be carried out, as this denies the employees the power to implement and exercise new ideas.
Brinkmann, M. (2019). Legitimate power without authority: The transmission model. Law and Philosophy, 39(2), 119-146. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10982-019-09369-z
Fleming, K., Millar, C., & Culpin, V. (2018). From hollow hero to expert empathiser: Leadership in transition. Journal of Management Development, 37(8), 606-612. https://doi.org/10.1108/jmd-07-2018-0209
Herman, R. D. (2016). Executive leadership. The Jossey&;#x02010; Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management, 167-187. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119176558.ch6
Riasi, A., & Asadzadeh, N. (2015). The relationship between principals’ reward power and their conflict management styles based on Thomas–kilmann conflict mode instrument. Management Science Letters, 5(6), 611-618. https://doi.org/10.5267/j.msl.2015.4.004
Tian, M. (2021). Power bases and power tensions: A critical analysis of education inspection policies and practices in China. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 20(1), 6-20. https://doi.org/10.1080/15700763.2020.1833940