SOURCES OF POWER AND COMPETENCY IN LEADERSHIP 2
-Introductionof the different evidences of power in organizations
-Adiscussion of the various sources of power including legitimate,reward, coercive and inference power.
-Mypersonal experience with the different sources of power
-Introductionof the different responsibilities of leaders
-Adiscussion of the eight components of competent leadership
-Mypersonal experience with leaders having different competencies
Inany organizations, people hold different positions that determine theapproach that people have towards them. The relationship amongdifferent people in an organization has a basis in the power theyhold. Employees treat their employers with respect. The middle-levelmanagers are answerable to the high level manager, and the hierarchycontinues to the highest positions. Some people control the resourcesthat others receive as well as having the power to punish themthrough sacking or suspending them. The source of the powers thatindividuals enjoy is diverse. To understand why some people have anadvantage over others in terms of the control they have, it isimperative that we understand the various sources of their powers.
Sourcesof power in organizations
Thefirst source of power is legitimacy. In any organization, people holddifferent positions that have different responsibilities. Thepositions give people the control over others. The power exercised byindividuals in various positions has a genesis in the workdescriptions and the responsibilities bestowed upon those individualby the companies work procedures. Any individual who holds aparticular position is legitimate to exercise the powers thatappertain to the positions. For example, human resource managers havethe power to hire and fire. The control comes from the legitimatecontrol that comes from the responsibilities of the position. Itexplains why bosses gain the respect of employees. On the same note,employees also have legitimate power over their employers from therights given to them by the various work regulations. Employers mustrespect their rights, and this is a form of power.
Thesecond source is reward power. Some people can control the resourcesenjoyed by others b the virtue of their position for this reason theygain the respect of other people under their control. A good exampleis the ability of a manager to appraise the staff. Only those whohave outstanding records get a promotion. The control directly comesfrom the manager. They also control vital resources like time andresource allocation in a business. For them to act favorably towardsan individual or cause, they need to get conviction that theresources or the rewards that they release have a justifiable cause.The reward source of power closely relates to coercive power. In thisform of power, individuals have the capacity to inflict punishmentson other people as a way of enforcing the organizational codes. Thesubjects have to bow down to the yoke of the power since they fallunder the control of the individuals exercising the control. Forexample, managers can suspend or fine individuals for misconduct inthe organization. Coercive power usually creates a platform ofadherence to laid down instructions, and this prevents collisions andchaos in the organization.
Expertpower is also another source of control. Some individuals haveoutstanding capabilities that are extremely vital to the survival ofan organization. Their skills may prevent the intensity of a threator give the business a bright prospect of flourishing. In theirdifferent capacities, they command a lot of respects, and they havecontrol over other employees. For example, hired external consultantsor technicians have a lot of conviction in the management than thenormal employees.
Lastly,the other main source of power is referent control. Some individualshave social characteristics that give them control over other people.Their influence to control others gives them a high position. Theircharismatic tendency makes people follow their decisions, and theycan be very instrumental team leaders.
Theexperience I have had through is fairly an encounter with almost allthe sources of power. School life has given me a platform ofobservation, and I have come across different people holdingdifferent positions that command respect in the various places.
First,teachers have been the primary sources of instructions. Theirposition gives them the authority to dictate what we should do. Forexample, they can reschedule a class due to their legitimate power oreven order a student out of the class for misbehavior as part oftheir coercive power. The two sources of power, legitimacy andcoercive, plays a big role in the learning institutions.
Secondly,I have also come across several classmates who appear to hold theopinion of the other students. Whenever we want to forward anagitation or a request, there are those students whom we target sincewe believe that they stand a better chance to present our issuessuccessfully than others. They harbor referent power, and theircharismatic behavior makes them popular and vocal among students.Another major source of power that I have experienced is expertpower. The schools I attended hired physical instructors from theexternal pool. These instructors had direct communication with themanagement and did not have to follow necessarily all the protocolsto speak to the top administration. Their skills earned the respectof the other employees, and the teachers relied on their advice tohelp the teams win in the various games. Lastly, the schooladministration appreciated different students for tehri exemplaryperformance. The authority to do so rests with the committeeresponsible. I have seen them reward many students and I have come torealize that they harbor rewarding power. All these sources of powersurround us in our environments, and there is no society ororganization that can survive without them.
Competencyperspective of leadership involves looking at the aspect from auniversal approach. It implies using an array of approaches that workbest when combined. When alternative mechanisms get a platform todeliver together, they may give desirable results rather than wheneach alternative is applicable in isolation. Good leadershipinvolves various traits and skills. However, some of the traits aresubjective in nature and having them may indicate a competentleadership potential but not necessarily an actual leadership trait. Leadership competency involves various traits.
Componentsof Competency perspective of leadership
First,an individual’s personality must incline towards extraversion. Thatis, individuals must be willing to talk to other people and seektheir opinion in different matters. It is discussing with others andlistening that leaders gain relevant skills and insights towardsvarious issues. However, this form of extraversion should not extendtowards irrelevant groups or discussions that have no value topersonal or organizational development. An individual should alsohave a high degree of conscientiousness. He /she must be responsiveto the needs of other groups and also have exercised contextualfeelings. People with this attribute will know when they are in thewrong and make consequent corrective measures. They would not alsoact in a way that would be detrimental to the lives of others.
Secondlycompetent leadership requires a high level of self-concept.Leadership needs to have a high level of self-esteem andself-evaluation. These qualities breed confidence and control ofone’s position. It also comes with an internal locus controlwhereby the actions of an individual incline towards the set rulesand regulations. Leaders may be in the spotlight if they are thefirst ones to break organizational rules. Their competency wouldbecome questionable. Self-concept also cultivates the attribute ofself-drive. The inner motivation that individuals have to achieve theset goals determines their competency. The inner drive promotes anindividual’s inquisitiveness since he/she is action orientated. Theaction of such a manager will be very objective, and it facilitatesthe achievements of the objectives.
Competentleadership also requires integrity and truthfulness. Integrity isvital since information has to be clear. Withholding information maylead to overlooking of crucial actions, and an organization can gocrumbling. Integrity promotes consistency of words and actions, andthis makes an individual a reliable source of advice and information.
Theother competence that is favorable for leadership is leadershipmotivation. Leaders should have motivation for a socialized power toachieve the organizational goals. Leaders hold a very importantposition because they give the employees the tone of activities. Thespeed taken b the leaders will determine the speed and intensity ofactivities adopted by the employees. The leader should also haveacquaintance with the business environment both internally andexternally. It helps the leader to make informed decisions concerningthe prevailing conditions in the business and the externalenvironment. Practical intelligence goes hand in hand with havingknowledge about the business. Competent leaders should have anabove-average cognitive ability. They should apply the intelligenceto the real world situations facing their groups or businesses. Whenmaking decisions, the practicality of intelligence results tocontextually sound decisions that are in line with the most optimumabilities of an organization. Sometimes, leaders may exhaust all theavailable measure trying to solve problems that manifest in anorganization. At such times, they gave to be creative and explore newmethods that can save the situation. The use of such measuresrequires intelligence and a high level of cognitive ability.
Finally,competent leadership involves the application of emotionalintelligence in all its activities. Emotional intelligence involvesperceiving, assimilating, understanding and regulating emotions.Leadership is not always a smooth process and sometimes leaders facehighly-charged situations that require them to keep calm untileverything comes back to normal. Breaking down or acting irrationallymay put the reputation and image of the company at risk of gettingtarnished.
Thecompetencies are not present in all the leaders that I have comeacross. Most of them have proved to miss several qualities. The mostcommon absent attribute I have come across in practical intelligence.Very few people go an extra mile to adopt new measures to deal withproblems. They all appear helpless after the conventional means cometo an end.
Amajor lesson I have learnt from these attributes is that they are notinherent in all individuals. People become a competent leader throughlearning and practice. However, harboring all the characteristics maynot become one a competent leader if he/ she do not put them inpractice. It is only through action that one’s true value comes tolight.
Theeight competencies are primary in defining a competent leader. Forall the leaders I have come across, people willing to lead others tosuccess through a well calculated path must be willing to practicethem. Leaders may also remain as mediocre if they only value thebasic attributes without going an extra mile to discover the bestpractices of their position.