Leadership & Different Types of Influence Processes
Leadership involves having a worthy vision and the ability to accomplish it. Successful managers possess leadership qualities of influencing others toward achieving organizational objectives. Influencing others requires some type of power. Power and leadership are closely related: while an individual can wield power without being a leader, an individual cannot be a leader without power. Small-business managers can improve their leadership skills by understanding the sources of power and influence.
Charisma is the power of influence inherent in a leader’s style or personality. A charismatic leader develops a new, ambitious vision for the company and communicates it to employees through powerful speeches and unique behavior. The charismatic leader is also sensitive toward the needs of employees. Managers can augment their charisma by making small changes in behavior to create better rapport with others, such as making more eye contact or smiling.
Legitimate power resides in the leader’s position. People comply with legitimate requests because they feel they have to. Legitimate requests are more effective if they are made with respect and humility rather than arrogance.
Influence by rewards requires offering something in return for complying with a request. Rewards should be of value to the person. Effective rewards may come in the form of public recognition and awards. More importantly, the link between behavior and reward should be clear to employees.
Leaders can exercise influence by rational persuasion based on knowledge, skills or special abilities. The leader presents a plan of action with logical arguments and supporting evidence. Professionals such as lawyers, physicians and accountants draw on this type of influence.
The leader’s relationship network is a source of power and influence. To cultivate this type of power, managers need to identify and befriend the right people. Moreover, they should repair damaged relationships, improve their image, and seek to understand others better.
To builds an effective organization, managers should avoid hoarding power. Leaders need to empower followers and teach them the effective use of power and leadership. Empowering leverages manager's influence and increases leadership effectiveness.