Different Types Of Leadership Power (Part 2)


If you - the project manager plainly mentioning to the team that he had a lunch meeting with the CEO and you appreciated the team’s hard work, thus you are exercising your referent power. Now that the team know you have access to the powerful person in the company and he trusts you, and you have put a good word about the team, they admire you and want to be like you. You associate yourself with people in power and show the team how they stand to benefit by this, and your team would prefer the fact that they are linked with you. This is the power most of the advertisements exert on people, by showing that celebrities are using their products. This type of power is pretty strong that power-holders are usually looked upon as a role model.


Punishment power is also called as Coercive power. This power may have negative consequences. The main goal of this power is compliance. Punishment power is exercised when someone is not performing and has to be reminded of bad consequences if there is no improvement. But remember the adage “praise in public, reprimand in private” – it helps tremendously to have such talks in private as the discomfort of being criticized in front of co-workers may take away the effectiveness of this type of power.


This is the power described by the ability to deliver information, knowledge or expertise. It is a common problem that many project managers may face is that the team may consider them as ‘not knowing what is involved in doing the project work’, hence do not respect their decisions. If you have this expert power, your team respects that and looks up to you understanding that you know what it takes to deliver something. They are now more inclined to listen to you and accept your decisions because you have credibility in their eyes. 

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