Sources of Power April 1st, 2011

Marcia Smart Ph.D.

All sources of Power yield Influence. Informal Leaders cannot rely on authority or the potential for coercion enjoyed by managers. Informal leaders therefore have to depend on their Power to get things done. What are their sources of Power? Boleman and Deal in their book Reframing Organizations http://www.leebolman.com/books.htm have summarized the key sources of power within groups and organizations:

  • Position power where the position confers certain levels of formal authority.
  • Information and expertise power flows for those with information, competence, and know-how.
  • Control of rewards power refers to the ability to deliver rewards, such as, jobs, money or political support.
  • Coercive power rests on the ability to constrain, block, interfere, or punish.
  • Alliances and networks are utilized to get things done in organizations through complex networks, individuals, or groups.
  • Gatekeeper power involves controlling access to key individuals, decision arenas or agendas.
  • Framing control of meaning and symbols refers to establishing the context within which issues will be viewed and decided.
  • Personal power is earned or given to individuals with charisma, energy, political skills, or the capacity to articulate a vision regardless of their formal or informal authority or position.

Power depends on relationships and can be increased or lost as a result of the way it is used or misused. Informal leaders have learned how to their power and influence to enhance their teams or group effectiveness to get results.

Have you experience Informal Leaders building and exercising Power? How did they acquire it?

This entry was posted on Friday, April 1st, 2011 at 4:30 pm and is filed under Informal Leadership. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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