Leadership is all about power and influence. Leaders use power to get things done. According to psychologist Ronald E. Riggio, there are two general types of power. The first is socialized power. Socialized power is power used to benefit others. Leaders that exercise this type of power are primarily concerned with the best interests of those they serve, not themselves.
The other form of power is called personalized power, and it is using power for personal gain. Personal power can become a problem when it dominates and gains, often at the followers’ expense.
What type of leader are you? And what type of power do you exert?
Business Insider details seven types of power that are present in the workplace:
- Coercive Power – where a person leads by threats and force. It is unlikely to win respect and loyalty from employees for long.
- Expert Power – the perception that one possesses superior skills or knowledge.
- Informational Power – where a person possesses needed or wanted information. This is a short-term power that doesn’t necessarily influence or build credibility.
- Reward Power – where a person motivates others by offering raises, promotions, and awards.
- Connection Power – where a person attains influence by gaining favor or simply acquaintance with a powerful person. This power is all about networking.
- Referent Power – the ability to convey a sense of personal acceptance or approval. People with charisma, integrity and other positive qualities hold it. It is the most valuable type of power.
Being a leader puts you in a position of influence. So how do you keep from letting that power go to your head? Here are four tips to avoid the CEO power-trip:
- Be a Man/Woman of Character. As a leader, you will inevitably face competing demands from time to time. The ability to manage these demands with integrity, honesty and selflessness becomes crucial in times like these. Being willing to sacrifice your success, your fortune and even your life takes courage and character.
- Stay Attentive. A good leader needs to be accurately informed. Be sure you have all the available facts before deciding anything. Thinking through the potential consequences of your decisions often prevents problems from occurring down the road.
- Stay Connected. Having the ability to develop meaningful relationships with others is the most important quality a leader can possess. You gain power through relationships. Developing relationships with key people will expand your sphere of influence, your access to resources and your capacity to make things happen.
- Serve Others. One of the greatest attributes of a good leader is your willingness to serve others. This service, however, should come from the heart and be genuine. Putting others’ needs and desires before your own is reflected in the attitude and actions of a good leader.
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