Leadership and Power

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Course Paper Assignment – Leadership and Power

In the interview, I chose to interview Andy Jassy who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Amazon, and David Clark who is the Senior Vice President and CEO, Worldwide Operations. I choose Amazon because I have the aspirations of working at the company in future. I think that being a leading online retailer, the firm will offer me numerous opportunities, especially by giving me the chance to explore new practices and technology. The interviews that happened a couple of days ago covered key issues, but mostly revolved around use of power at the organization. Indulging in the exercise provides information that may help me to understand how I may form the basis for my power in the organization, as well as how I may form relationships with key power players in the firm. In addition, completing the exercise offers me the chance to explore the potential constraints or barriers that could bar me from adequately using my power. Hence, the practice played fundamental functions in helping me to analyze where I am, where I need to be, how I will reach there, and the possible constraints I may encounter.

Interests, Hidden Agenda, and Desires

Jassy, Amazon’s President and CEO and Clark, Senior Vice President and CEO, Worldwide Operations are some of the people who have power and exert influence in this leading retailer. Being leaders, both Jassy and Clark have almost similar aspirations that guide them in the way they offer their services and steer the company towards the right path. The interest of both leaders is to become a good mentor because as leaders the team looks up to them for coaching, guidance, and advice. Each leader acknowledges the importance of making appropriate mentorship a concern when setting objectives to help the team grow as individuals and in their roles. The other interest of both leaders is to form stronger attachments with each leader making it their goal to build stronger ties with every worker in the organization. They learn to cooperate and collaborate with members in all contexts, and understand that by forming more interpersonal connections at the workplace, it is possible to gain additional support during constraining contexts (Heaphy et al., 2018). Being some of the highly positioned leaders at Amazon, Jassy and Clark have the interest to build active listening skills at the company. They know that an effective manager can both lead their team and pay attention to their input. Often, when listening to workers, it is possible to discover that they have ideas and concepts the leaders would not imagine. The leaders also have common hidden agendas that are worth mentioning. For example, the common hidden agenda for the two leaders is to motivate and inspire workers to be more committed in their operations, and be able to achieve better outcome. The hidden agenda is positive in nature, and seeks to foster impressive results at the company.

Furthermore, interviewing the two leaders reveals some of the desires that each administrator wishes to achieve. One of the chief desires for Jassy is to create a workplace where members share ideas freely and work as a team. According to the President and CEO, working as a team presents numerous advantages, encompassing but not limited to improved problem solving capabilities, enhanced capacity for innovation, more satisfied members, and improved personal growth (Pfeffer, 2010). The other desire for Jassy is to create a work environment where workers deploy effective communication and are able to relate with each other as effectively as possible. Clark also has desires that determine how he performs his work and relate with others. The leader’s desire is to see the company reaching out to buyers from other places of the world because this offers a chance to generate more revenue for the company. Other than building reputation, the leader hopes to make the group increasingly competitive and able to triumph over competitors. In addition, based on the revelations by Clark, the leader wants to take charge of others, handle the achievements, and aspirations for others, or execute development. Above all, Clark desires to improve his relations with sales staff officials from various geographical locations and put all plans into actions through online avenues. The desires driving the leaders play fundamental roles in ensuring they achieve targeted goals.

Forming the Basis of Power in the Organization

I will largely focus on the concept of social capital, which refers to the networks of associations among individuals who work and serve with a particular organization, as a way of forming the basis for my power at the company. For example, I will consider what others think, want, and aim at achieving to determine how I practice power. I will want to act in accordance with the desires and wishes of team members to avoid possible controversies that could affect how I function. In this sense, I will rely on the guidance by Pfeffer (2010) that failure to acknowledge what staff members want as a leader could cause constant oppositions and controversies, which in the long run affect performance. Thus, I may have to review the workplace first to understand how I may have to exercise my power.

Building Relationships with Players in the Organization

Building relationships at the workplace is a fundamental requirement that all leaders and workers should take seriously. I will nurture relationships with coworkers at all levels by understanding my strengths and weaknesses and that of others, and use the information to structure how I relate with others. Knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses according to Pfeffer (2010) allows a leader to avoid actions that could affect how they relate to others. In addition, I will work closely with everyone because this approach also plays fundamental roles in ensuring that I build relationships with others. As I seek power and influence, I will avoid broken relationships with peers and subordinates by maintaining a desirable tone and communication approaches all the time I interact with them because Heaphy et al. (2018) think that these techniques are equally effective in strengthening relationships at the workplace. I will emphasize on building desirable relationships because of the many merits associated with acting in such a manner.

Potential Barriers

Whereas it is possible to get and use power at the company, it is essential to consider some of the barriers that could make it difficult to achieve the targeted aspirations. The obstacles could be internal or external in nature. An example of an internal constraint is that not all workers may accept my leadership style. An example of an internal obstacle is that I may have fears that could prevent me from reaching out to others or offer directions that determine organizational operations. The other internal obstacle that could hinder my practice of the power is lack of skills on how to handle particular issues that require the leader’s attention. As a result, I may experience delays or hiccups that derail effective and smooth flow of operations. Having needed skills is essential because Pfeffer (2010) contends that when administrators lack the capacity to offer direction, motivation, and coaching for staff members, organizational morale and culture usually suffer. In addition, Pfeffer (2010) further argues that when leaders lack the required skills they are likely to demonstrate poor leadership, which is associated with loss of productivity and high worker turnover. Thus, I hope to acquire needed skills before assuming power to avoid barriers that could affect how I serve in the leadership position. For instance, I will improve my knowledge and skills on how to nurture self-awareness considering that the most suitable place to begin with is focusing on factors within oneself rather than beginning with factors in the external environment. Hence, working hard to address the challenges will allow me to go about my duties as a leader with minimum challenge.

However, I must pay equal attention to the obstacles emanating from external sources and know how to mitigate them to avoid disrupting my practice as one who has power. The organizational structure could have some features that pose significant challenges in the way I serve. For instance, because there are other vice presidents at the organization who are in charge of other key areas, encompassing positions of the Worldwide Controller, Amazon Web Services, General Counsel and Secretary, Technical Advisor to the CEO, Corporate Affairs, and Human Resources, my decisions would be subjected to further evaluation to find out whether they are effective and suitable for the company. The bureaucratic approach could cause wastage of time, and could deter me from coming up with crucial decisions knowing that other leaders may not agree with what I say. Apart from the issues that could emerge due to factors enacted by the organizational structure, it is important to acknowledge that people are different and what one perceives as good may not be appealing to another person (Pfeffer, 2010). Consequently, whereas some members may feel that the leadership approach that I deploy is effective, others may not share the same views, and may resort to being uncooperative, inconsistent, and less responsive. The challenge may require me to conduct an assessment of the situation before settling on any leadership approach. That would help me to avoid some of the challenges that could make work difficult for me.


The essay explores the application of power at the workplace. It is based on an interview with two leaders at Amazon, Jassy and Clark who serve as CEO and President and SVP and CEO of Worldwide Operations, respectively. Engaging both leaders through interviews reveals their interests, their hidden agendas, and their desires. The analysis explores what I can use to form the foundation for my power in this firm while paying attention to the influence of particular behaviors, traits, and attributes. The paper also addresses the significance of building relationships with other key players, as well as examines the possible various techniques for avoiding broken relationships with peers and subordinates as I seek influence and power. More fundamentally, the essay looks into some of the potential barriers that could deter how I effectively use power. Completing the exercise provide me with valuable information regarding where I am now and where I aspire to reach going forward in terms of exercising powers over others in a workplace context.

Works Cited

Heaphy, Emily, Kris Byron, Gary Ballinger and Jody Gittell. “The Changing Nature of Work

Relationships.” The Academy of Management Review, 43, no. 4, 2018, pp. 1-12.

Pfeffer, Jeffrey. Power: Why Some People have it – and other don’t. HarperCollins, 2010.

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