Although control, leadership, and status all refer to influencing others, the words vary in several ways. The capacity of an individual or a group to influence the views and behavior of others is referred to as power (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2013). Power is typically derived from one’s personality or expertise (Rajagopalan & Wagner, 2013). As a consequence, one will rise to power after acquiring some experience and technical skills. Doctors and attorneys, for example. Some would gain legitimate authority by demonstrating leadership personalities that could positively impact practices and bring about organizational improvements. On the other hand, Position refers to the rights and privileges granted to certain key people in organizations, usually the managers to meet the objectives of the establishments (Northouse, 2015). That involves using other people to achieve and accomplish specific tasks. The act entails giving orders to the subordinates while expecting the obedience and compliance from them. Therefore, while the source of power is from personality or knowledge, the genesis of position is the authority and reinstatement.
Similarly, leadership refers to the process of influencing the groups of people to achieve an objective. According to Chemers (2014), leaders undertake extra activities as opposed to those in power and position such as establishing viable visions and sharing the vision with the team subjects. Additionally, leaders provide knowledge, information, and methods to attain the dream. They also solve the conflicts of interest among members (Christensen, Mackey, & Whetten, 2014). Unlike position and power which not necessarily pursue dreams and credible influence, leadership explores the personal abilities and qualities to create the vision while prompting all the stakeholders (Gursoy, Chi, & Karadag, 2013). Also, power and positions would involve the individuals such as a manager, while leadership could entail groups, such as the departmental heads in the organization.
The Instance of a Person with Authority in an Organization
While working in Babji restaurant as a waiter, the food and beverage supervisor used power to manage the juniors instead of leadership. Having acquired the legitimate power that made him occupy the post after promotion from the operational staff, matters turned to worse before a year could elapse.
During his reign, he was very coercive. He used to issue out the threats and punishments to the subjects. Before a year passed, he had colluded with the management do dismiss four staff members. The colleagues were found arguing having been directed to go for the foodservice away from the establishment. Without holding a caucus with them to verify the issue, he hesitated to suspend them, followed by the dismissal letter within the same week. Additionally, he was fond of giving penalties and threats. During the time in power, personnel at the service section had frequent cases of salary deductions due to the simple mistakes.
In reckon, the period I worked as a waiter under the governance of the new supervisor gave me various experiences. I learned that those with intimidating authorities earn for themselves hatred and fear instead of respect and compliance. The rest of employees were timid in the workplace. However, we despised the supervisor, and everybody wished he could be transferred or something peculiar happen to him like the sickness. Undoubtedly we used to be very much free and happy while he was away.
During those days, we realized the significant relationship between powers and leadership. Martin, Liao, and Campbell (2013) reiterate that both leadership and power are used to influence behaviors, though at different intensities and strategies. While power is limited to the control and use of authority, leadership uses wise persuasions on the subjects. Similarly, the charismatic leaders motivate their juniors while nurturing them to achieve the objectives while those in power could be lacking the inspiration skills (LePine et al., 2016). The experience inculcated me that organizations that reinstate some people into power without verifying the various leadership competencies are likely to face jeopardies like losing most potential employees due to the coercive ruling by the incompetent people in power.
Chemers, M. (2014). An integrative theory of leadership. Psychology Press.
Christensen, L. J., Mackey, A., & Whetten, D. (2014). Taking responsibility for corporate social responsibility: The role of leaders in creating, implementing, sustaining, or avoiding socially responsible firm behaviors. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 28(2), 164-178.
Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2013). Primal Leadership: Unleashing the power of emotional intelligence. Harvard Business Press.
Gursoy, D., Chi, C. G. Q., & Karadag, E. (2013). Generational differences in work values and attitudes among frontline and service contact employees. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 32, 40-48.
LePine, M. A., Zhang, Y., Crawford, E. R., & Rich, B. L. (2016). Turning their pain to gain: Charismatic leader influence on follower stress appraisal and job performance. Academy of Management Journal, 59(3), 1036-1059.
Martin, S. L., Liao, H., & Campbell, E. M. (2013). Directive versus empowering leadership: A field experiment comparing impacts on task proficiency and proactivity. Academy of Management Journal, 56(5), 1372-1395.
Northouse, P. G. (2015). Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.
Rajagopalan, S., & Wagner, R. E. (2013). Constitutional Craftsmanship and the Rule of Law: Organizational Arrangement, Moral Imagination, and the Separation of Powers. GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 13-08.