Relationship Between Power and Leadership
Power is considered as the potential and ability to influence others (Lunenburg, 2012). A person cannot be a leader without power since a leader relies on power to achieve goals as well as influence those being led to have superior performance, safeguard the strength of the organization as well as make significant judgments. A leader should possess personal power which is identified as the most influential power that a leader needs to have in a professional environment. Personal power is considered as the power given to an individual due to their competencies and personal skills (Lunenburg, 2012). This is the power awarded to a leader by others and is associated with a person’s integrity and readiness to live up to their promises thus inspiring other people.
A leader can acquire personal power from their characteristics such as self-discipline and learning to focus once attention. Possessing internal features such as intelligence, credibility, skills, self-confidence, and experience is another way through which a person can develop personal power. A leader can also possess personal power through being classified as an expert in a certain field which reflects the established capabilities and work-related knowledge (Lunenburg, 2012). Therefore, expert knowledge is essential since a person with such reliable information can easily acquire personal power.
Several mechanisms can be put in place to prevent a leader from abusing power. These include accountability, ethics training, and an open-door policy. Accountability entails a culture with respect, integrity, and a strong organizational standing that does not tolerate ridicule and people being treated poorly as outgroups. Ethics training and open-door policy are essential in outlining unacceptable and acceptable behaviors which are essential in preventing abuse of power. Each leader and employee needs to be trained on ethical behaviors to ensure that the company policies and behaviors prevent abuse of power.
My former project manager demonstrated personal power throughout the entire project since he always put the needs of the project team ahead of his own. He had a general respect for the project team which played a great role in our ability to be happy and successful. Robert was always a source of motivation, inspiration, and supported the team members. He allowed all the members to learn and acquire more skills as the project manager. Most of the project decisions were made collectively. Robert was always ready to listen and empower the team which made him a constant source of support to the project team.
Lunenburg, F. C. (2012). Power and leadership: An influence process. International journal of management, business, and administration, 15(1), 1