Differentiate between authority power and influence in the workplace
Power is the capacity of a person to influence others and alter their actions, beliefs, and behaviors. However, it's important to note that. power and authority as end points on a single contin:ur and to differentiate between them on common dimensions. Barnard's definition of au-. Ultimately, influence is about strong relationships, whereas power steps back from a relationship and dictates. Building your influence as a. LSU VS FLORIDA 2022 BETTING LINE
Authority is the formal and often legal right that a person holds to make decisions and give commands to others. Economist and sociologist Max Weber identified three types of authority. These are traditional authority, charismatic authority not to be confused with charismatic leadership , and legal-rational authority.
In the workplace, authority gives someone the power to enact organizational changes to a workplace. Authority is often tied to the hierarchy of a company. Authority flows downward, with commands delegated from manager and leaders to direct reports. An official cannot perform their duties without permission granted from a higher authority. Authority is usually exercised to get a task done through another party.
An example would be a team manager requesting that an employee complete a report by a specific deadline. Upper management specifies this deadline. The concept of authority is based on designation. It is restricted only to the organization, making it more legitimate and persuasive than power. For example, a manager needs authority. It makes their position real and quantifiable, and gives them the power to designate tasks to their direct reports.
Whenever there is a chain of business relations in a company, it is authority that binds them and provides a framework for responsibility. Authority itself can be delegated. In fact, delegation of authority is an important skill for leaders to have.
It empowers team members to do the work they are best suited to. Meaning Power is the capacity of a person to influence others and alter their actions, beliefs, and behaviors. Authority is the legitimate power that a person or group is granted to practice over others within an organization.
Source The source of power depends on the type of power. Some people see power as something they receive from an external source. This could be an assigned title or position that gives someone control. For example, a police officer would have legitimate power. His power comes from his position. Some people see power as a personal trait that is derived from status, charisma , and even financial and social standing. It is an acquired ability that often stems from superior knowledge and expertise.
In this case, power is the self-granted right to control the decisions and actions of others. Authority is attached to a position it is conferred to. This means that whichever person holds the position is also granted the authority attached to it. Hierarchy The hierarchy of power vs. Power does not follow a specific hierarchy.
It can instead flow in any direction. This could be from superior to subordinate, subordinate to superior, or junior to senior. Or it could be between people working on similar levels but different departments. Power is not confined by any boundaries. And, it is usually complicated by an element of politics in the workplace. In contrast, authority is hierarchical in nature. It always flows downward. An authoritative superior can delegate authority to a subordinate or junior employee.
Ability to be lost You can lose both power and authority. But power is easier to lose than authority. Power is lost quickly through mistakes, as well as poor actions and behaviors. Because power is built on expertise and experience, a person who makes repeated mistakes in business can lose their credibility — even if they were very powerful before. Authority is more technical and static in nature. An organization can take authority away from someone by removing them from their positions.
Or by removing responsibilities from that position that formerly gave them a certain amount of authority. Take an example of a company manager during a department restructuring. They might move into a new position with similar pay but with less authority.
Formality Power is more informal. It may be obtained through illegitimate or informal means, such as nepotism and corruption or organizational networks. Authority, on the other hand, is both legitimate and formal. It needs to be granted by a person or entity in a superior position and can get revoked under specified circumstances or misuses.
Legitimacy People can acquire power through illegitimate means. Power may also be abused. Because of this, it tends to have less legitimacy than authority. This is particularly true in a workplace setting. Highly effective leaders seek to uncover the greatness in each individual. These influence leaders are more likable than "power" leaders, as they consistently identify a common point of interest with others and compromise whenever possible so both sides leave satisfied.
The best leaders also tend to be great negotiators: They seek to understand the other side's perspective so they can offer options that benefit everyone. Pressure to achieve doesn't override an influence leader's compassion for people when they make a mistake. Actually, influence leaders encourage people to take calculated risks, accept failure and get back in the game with renewed knowledge of the problem.
They don't fear failure as much as they fear not trying to find innovative solutions. Martin Winterkorn, former chairman of Volkswagen, exemplified failed power leadership. He discouraged feedback and refused to hear problems from the ranks, creating a punitive culture that was said to have pushed engineers to cheat out of fear of not reaching their goals.
The excessive emphasis Winterkorn placed on avoiding failure ironically led to his professional failure and to a huge financial loss for Volkswagen. In Winterkorn's case, he failed in both arenas: He let down customers, authorities and regulators for cheating diesel car emissions tests. Power leaders seek control and often abuse their influence. Often, they yearn for attention and respect and use their power to wield attention. They lead by intimidation and fear rather than by garnering respect.
They see it as their right and privilege to rule over others rather than their responsibility to set a positive example, advise and offer guidance. Because they keep people close to them who are likeminded, their homogenous teams may enjoy comfortable relationships, but they tend to be less innovative.
Influence Leaders Serve As Mentors, Inspire Innovation and Empower Others Greed, arrogance and a focus on maintaining a position of power undermine a company's culture. Influence leaders do the opposite -- they lead by serving as mentors and inspire others to follow their vision. They have high character, keep their promises and regularly share credit with fellow employees for good results.
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Moreover, the element of politics is usually attached to it. Definition of Authority Authority is legal and formal right to a person, who can take decisions, give orders and commands to others to perform a particular task. It is hierarchical in nature, it flows downward, i.
In general, authority is exercised to get things done through others. It is attached to the position, i. As the authority lies in the designation, in the absence of authority, the position offered to the person would be of no use. Moreover, it is restricted to the organisation only. Key Differences Between Power and Authority The difference between power and authority can be drawn clearly on the following grounds: Power is defined as the ability or potential of an individual to influence others and control their actions.
Authority is the legal and formal right to give orders and commands, and take decisions. Power is a personal trait, i. The major source of power is knowledge and expertise. On the other hand, position and office determine the authority of a person. Power flows in any direction, i. It always flows downward.
An authoritative superior can delegate authority to a subordinate or junior employee. Ability to be lost You can lose both power and authority. But power is easier to lose than authority. Power is lost quickly through mistakes, as well as poor actions and behaviors.
Because power is built on expertise and experience, a person who makes repeated mistakes in business can lose their credibility — even if they were very powerful before. Authority is more technical and static in nature.
An organization can take authority away from someone by removing them from their positions. Or by removing responsibilities from that position that formerly gave them a certain amount of authority. Take an example of a company manager during a department restructuring.
They might move into a new position with similar pay but with less authority. Formality Power is more informal. It may be obtained through illegitimate or informal means, such as nepotism and corruption or organizational networks. Authority, on the other hand, is both legitimate and formal. It needs to be granted by a person or entity in a superior position and can get revoked under specified circumstances or misuses. Legitimacy People can acquire power through illegitimate means.
Power may also be abused. Because of this, it tends to have less legitimacy than authority. This is particularly true in a workplace setting. The legality behind authority also provides added legitimacy in some cases. Power vs. Each strikes a different balance between authority and power. These are the most common leadership styles.
Let's look at how they depend on power and authority to keep teams motivated and productive. Autocratic leadership style The autocratic leader manages their team through control and a clearly defined direction. Autocratic managers usually assert strong authority and have full decision-making power.
They expect unquestioning compliance and obedience from their subordinates. This style demands clearly defined roles, strict hierarchies, and even stricter reporting protocols. Staff should never have to ask who is responsible for which task. They make all decisions related to the outcomes of the team. Autocratic leadership has both advantages and disadvantages. Visionary leadership style This management style is also called strategic , transformational, or inspirational management.
Visionary managers focus their efforts on conveying the general vision and mission of their company , project, or department to their team and direct reports. Visionary managers hold a certain amount of authority.
Instead, they motivate and align their teams to allow everyone to move in the same direction. They trust their team members to handle the finer details. This management style requires: A high degree of emotional intelligence Comfort with taking risks Warren Buffett is an example of a visionary leader who has made millions with his relaxed but informed approach to business. Consultative leadership style The consultative leader bases their leadership strategies on input from their team.
This highlights the difference between power and authority. Then, they make a decision in line with these opinions. This form of leadership tends to arise when a leader is unfamiliar with every aspect of a situation. They ask for the views of the team on the ground in order to make an informed decision. An example would be in a chemical processing business where the subordinates are scientific experts who know more about the handling of products than their managers.
Leaders may also choose this leadership style if they are humble enough to consider all of the views of their team members before making a final decision. This willingness to take other opinions into account can often lead to far better, more sustainable decisions. The main challenge with consultative leadership is that it takes more time than a directive approach. Participative leadership style Participative leaders involve themselves completely in their team.
They act as a member instead of a superior. Participative leaders discuss all possible decisions with their team before making them. Participative leaders hold the authority to make final decisions on behalf of the team.
But they choose not to exercise any power over their subordinates. Instead, they integrate themselves into the team as a member just like any other. In this leadership style, the entire team takes ownership of final decisions. This creates a high degree of accountability. He actively guides his team through challenges and failures to address problems and minimize damages. Using authority vs. Effective leaders need to use their authority wisely without exerting too much power over their team members.
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