Does Power Corrupt?

Now that your amazing manager is on his way to becoming a leader, is there a chance he may not know how to exert his authority or power?  If the executive team has done the job in preparing a manager for a leadership role, one can hope the candidate has a healthy self-esteem; confident but not ego-driven.  If that is the case, then our manager-leader will exert the positive and not the negative types of power.  What are the kinds of power managers exert?*

Coercive Power: involves the usage of threat to make people do what they want. Threats include threats of transferring, firing, demotions, etc.
Reward Power: uses rewards, perks, new projects or training opportunities.
Legitimate Power: emanates from an official position held by someone, be it an organization, bureaucracy or government. For this subject, it is power granted by the executive team or by the nature of the position.
Expert Power: the skills and expertise possessed by an individual which is of higher quality and has high credibility.
Referent Power: power given to generally celebrities, it is the influence the celebrity has over his or her fans.

*Staff. (2013) Different Types of Power. Retrieved from

A leader can take advantage of her rock-star status with her referent power.  If she has a young group of subordinates, walking the talk will create loyalty and inspiration.  When people have a buy-in with their manager, they will do just about anything asked of them, as long as the manager-leader is the real deal.

By Lisa Landis 


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