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Power, politics and leadership

Great leaders
Great leaders continuation.....
Traits and motives
Ethics and leadership
Contingency and situational leadership
Transformational leadership
Power, politics and leadership
Communication and conflict resolution skills
Are you a good leader?? Theories of what makes a good leader..
Are you a good leader? (Game)

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Sources and types of power

Power is one of the important traits that a leader must posses. In order to archieve his goals he must have the potential to influence others, and this is done through power.
Position power and Personal power are the two types that a leader must posses.
Position power
Bases of position power are Legimate power, reward power, coercive power and information power.
  • Legitimate power "comes   from   the   authority   of   your   rate   and position  in  the  chain  of  command.  You  use  this power  in  day-to-day  business.  Although  legitimate power increases with added responsibilities, you can decrease that power if you fail to meet all of your  responsibilities". (Dane, 2002 p.245)


  • Coercive power results from the expectation of a negative reward if your wishes are not obeyed.( Perry, 1999) 
  • Reward power "The authority to give employees rewards for compliance is referred to as reward power" (Dubrin, Daglish & Miller, 2006, p. 209)


  • Informational power depends on your giving or withholding of information or having knowledge that others do not have. (Perry, 1999)


Politics in the workplace

Politics is best referred to as being the politics that go on in the workplace. Factors that contribute to organisational politics are " gaining power through means other then merit or luck , politics are played to achieve power, either directly or indirectly" (Dubrin, Daglish & Miller, 2006, p.220)


Political tactics and strategies

To make sure that everything goes smoothly in the organisation a leader must adapt to certain political tactics and strategies these are all defined below.

Strategies and tactics aimed directly at gaining power

There are many strategies that a leader can adapt to gain power however the main ones are :

  1. Develop power contacts
  2. Control vital information
  3. Keep informed
  4. Control lines of communication
  5. Bring in outside experts
  6. Make a quick showing

By adopting to these main six strategies a good leader should not have any problems succeeding in the organisation.


Strategies and tactics aimed at buiding relationships

Building relationships in an organisation is essential. Having the right connections at the right time can help a good leader become a great leader. There are seven major tactics and strategies that can help a leader become outstanding.

  1. Display loyalty
  2. Manage your impression
  3. Ask satisfied customers to contact your boss
  4. Be courteous, pleasant and positive
  5. Ask advice
  6. Send thank you notes to a large number of people
  7. Flatter others sensibly

The only thing that a leader has to be careful of is to avoid blunders in the organisation. He should never critise the boss in the public because that can backfire. Also a good leader knows where he stands in the organisation and so he should never try to challange the ones above him because that can cause blunders. The last but not least thing he should not do is declining offers from top management because if they offer you something a great leader should take it, turning them down more than once can cause many problems. There is also other factors that can influence a good leader. If people see that he or she is reallly successful they will become really jealous because maybe they want to be in that place, but like many theorist say a leader is born and not made. Issues like

  • Back stabbing
  • Embrace and demolish
  • Setting a person up for failure
  • Devide and rule
  • Play territorial games

These five factors sometimes cause a good leader to misjudge a situation. No matter how good a leader is, he or she needs also the support from others and sometimes there are people that don't want you to succeed and this can be an issue.



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