Types of Power

Types of Power



Types of Power

There are different types of power and each one of them can have different results that are either positive or negative. Using power for the sole purpose of emphasizing and exercising one’s authority might not have the positive results that a person expects. Others may end up disrespecting the person because of his or her misuse of power. I find that legitimate power tends to be effective in most situations. People respect their leaders and those in authority because of the position they have. They are willing to do what is requested of them because they recognize the power of the position. A person in leadership can use his or her position to get things done irrespective of his or her personal qualities.

I think that I lean more towards reward power in many situations. I tend to think of ways that I can use to reward people, even before I ask them to do something. I think that they will not be able to do what I request of them if they do not get something in return. I often use reward power to my advantage. In school, many people are not looking for huge rewards and it easy to please them so long as one can fulfill their demands. I also find that people tend to respect you more when you have something that they do not. This is especially the case if one has access to certain resources that are not in the common domain (Lussier & Achua, 2009). I have used reward power to establish relationships with some people. This has in turn helped me in making friends and finding the right people to work with me in my academics.

On the other hand, I tend to have legitimate power in the family especially when I am dealing with my siblings. My brothers and sisters recognize that I am older than they are and they do whatever I tell them to, based on this fact. I do not have to coerce them to do anything for me or to complete a task. They choose to obey what I tell them to do because I am older. I use legitimate power in the home to get chores done. I know the capabilities of all my brothers and sisters, and I assign them duties around the home.

One does not necessarily have to depend on the use of one type of power (Daft, 2007). I can improve my leadership and management skills by learning more about the subjects that deal with my area of work. Having expert power will ensure that I gain respect because of the things that I know. I cannot depend on rewards or position alone as a source of power. I might be in a position where I do not have the capability to give rewards, and this will mean that I do not have any power. In addition, people tend to respond to orders based on the benefits they intend to receive. They do not comply with orders based on their willingness. On the other hand, depending on position alone may put me in jeopardy, especially in formal work situations. This is because I can lose my position and any power that I had. Therefore, I think that it is imperative for me to develop personal traits that will ensure that I have power irrespective of the position I hold.

I can improve my leadership and management skills by ensuring that I get along with people well. This means taking the time and effort to understand them better by knowing the challenges and problems that they are going through, and by trying to help them find an effective solution. I can also show those around me that I respect them irrespective of their status. In addition, creating a positive organizational culture that fosters unity, and being a positive role model will make me more endearing and appealing to people. Leading by example will show the subordinates that I am serious, and they will be more willing to comply with the rules if the leaders do the same (Dessler & Phillips, 2007).


Daft, R. (2007). The Leadership Experience. New York, NY: Cengage Learning

Dessler, G., & Phillips, J. (2007). Managing Now. New York, NY: Cengage Learning

Lussier, R., & Achua, C. (2009). Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development. New York, NY: Cengage Learning

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