1Legitimate power/Positional power

It’s derived from the position a person holds in an organization’s hierarchy. For instance in an organization, junior workers report to managers and managers assign duties to their juniors. For positional/legitimate power to be exercised effectively and efficiently, the person wielding it must be deemed to have earned it legitimately.

2 Expert power

Expert power is derived from possessing knowledge or expertise in a particular area. Such people are highly valued by organizations for their problem solving skills. People who have expert power perform critical tasks and are therefore deemed indispensable. The opinions, ideas and decisions of people with expert power are held in high regard by other employees and hence greatly influence their actions. Possession of expert power is normally a stepping stone to other sources of power such as legitimate power. For example, a person who holds expert power can be promoted to senior management, thereby giving him legitimate power.

3 Referent Power

Referent power is derived from the interpersonal relationships that a person cultivates with other people in the organization. People possess reference power when others respect and like them. Referent power arises from charisma, as the charismatic person influences others through the admiration, respect and trust others have for him/ her. Referent power can also be derived from personal connections and relationship that a person has with key people in the organization’s hierarchy, such as those in management.

4 Coercive Power

Coercive power is derived from a person’s ability to influence others via threats, punishments or sanctions. A junior staff member may work late to meet a deadline to avoid disciplinary action from his boss. Coercive power is, therefore, a person’s ability to punish or reprimand another employee. Coercive power helps control the behavior of employees by ensuring that they adhere to the organization’s policies and norms.

5 Reward Power

Reward power arises from the ability of a person to influence the allocation of incentives in an organization. Reward power relies on the belief that employees are more likely to perform their job at a higher level if they know that rewards/incentives are contingent to their performance. These incentives include salary increments, positive appraisals and promotions. In an organization, people who wield reward power tend to influence the actions of other employees. Reward power, if used well, greatly motivates employees. But if it’s applied through favoritism, reward power can greatly demoralize employees and diminish their output.

  1. B) Attributes of a good leader

1 Proactive and Reactive
The exceptional leader is always thinking three steps ahead. Working to master his or her own environment with the goal of avoiding problems before they arise.

2 Flexible or Adaptable
An effective leader will adapt to new surroundings and situations, doing his or her best to adjust. A leader will take into account all points of view and will be willing to change a policy, program, cultural tradition that is out-dated, or no longer beneficial to the group as a whole.

3 A Good Communicator
a good leader listens a lot and is willing to work to understand the needs and desires of others. A good leader asks many questions, considers all options, and leads in the right direction.

4 Quiet Confidence
a good leader is always sure of himself or herself with humble intentions.

5 Enthusiastic
Excitement is contagious. When a leader is motivated and excited about the cause people will be more inclined to follow.

6 Open-Minded
a good leader work to consider all options when making decisions. A strong leader will evaluate the input from all interested parties and work for the betterment of the whole.

7 Resourceful

Utilize the resources available to you. If you do not know the answer to something find out by asking questions. A leader must create access to information.

8 Rewarding

An exceptional leader will recognize the efforts of others and reinforce those actions.
9 Evaluative
Evaluation of events and programs is essential for an organization or group to improve and progress. An exceptional leader will constantly evaluate and change programs and policies that are not working.
10 Organized
A leader is prepared for meetings, presentations, events and confident that people around you are prepared and organized as well?

11 Consistent
Confidence and respect cannot be attained without your leadership being consistent. People must have confidence that their opinions and thoughts will be heard and taken into consideration.

12 Delegator

An exceptional leader realizes that he or she cannot accomplish everything on his own. A leader will know the talents and interests of people around him or her, thus delegating tasks accordingly.

13 Initiative
A leader should work to be the motivator, an initiator. He or she must be a key element in the planning and implementing of new ideas, programs, policies, events, etc.

  1. C) Three common theories of leadership
  2. Trait Theories

Traits are external behaviors that emerge from the things going on within our minds. It is these internal beliefs and processes that are important for effective leadership.

Trait theories argue that effective leaders share a number of common personality characteristics, or traits. Early trait theories said that leadership is an innate, instinctive quality that you do or do not have. However, this idea has been improved and what people can do to develop leadership qualities within themselves and others is used. Trait theories help in identification of traits and qualities, for instance, integrity, empathy, assertiveness, good decision-making skills, and likability that are helpful when leading others. However, none of these traits, or any specific combination of them, will guarantee success as a leader.

  1. Behavioral Theories

Behavioral theories focus on how leaders behave. For instance, do leaders dictate what needs to be done and expect cooperation? Or do they involve their teams in decision-making to encourage acceptance and support? Based on the behavior of leaders, there are three types of leaders:

The Autocratic leaders  who make decisions without consulting their teams, the democratic leaders  who allow the team to provide input before making a decision and Laissez-faire leaders who do not  interfere

  1. Contingency Theories

The realization that there is no one correct type of leader led to theories that the best leadership style depends on the situation. These theories try to predict which style is best in which circumstance.

For instance, when an individual need to make quick decisions, which style is best? When you need the full support of your team, is there a more effective way to lead? Should a leader be more people-oriented or task-oriented? These are all questions that contingency leadership theories try to address.

  1. D) Leadership styles

1 Authoritarian Leadership (Autocratic)

Authoritarian leaders provide clear expectations for what needs to be done, when it should be done, and how it should be done. There is also a clear division between the leader and the followers. Authoritarian leaders make decisions independently with little or no input from the rest of the group. Decision-making is less creative under authoritarian leadership. It is more difficult to move from an authoritarian style to a democratic style than vice versa. Abuse of this style is usually viewed as controlling, bossy, and dictatorial. Authoritarian leadership is best applied to situations where there is little time for group decision-making or where the leader is the most knowledgeable member of the group

2 Participative Leadership (Democratic)

Participative leadership, also known as democratic leadership is generally the most effective leadership style. Democratic leaders not only offer guidance to group members, but also participate in the group and allow input from other group members. Participative leaders encourage group members to participate, but retain the final say over the decision-making process. Group members feel engaged in the process and are more motivated and creative.

Delegative (Laissez-Faire) Leadership

The definition and history behind laissez faire leadershipthis style of leadership has exhaustively been described in Laissez Faire Leadership Guide: Definition, Qualities, Pros & Cons and Examples

In this leadership style, delegative leaders offer little or no guidance to group members and leave decision-making up to group members. While this style can be effective in situations where group members are highly qualified in an area of expertise, it often leads to poorly defined roles and a lack of motivation.




Robbins, S.P.(2001). Organizational Behavior. Upper Saddle River. Pentice Hall

Bass, B.M & Bass R (2008). The Basis Handbook of Leadership Theory, Research and Managerial Applications, New York, Free Press

Lewin, K.Lippit, R and White, R K. (2009).Patterns Of Aggressive Behavior In Experimentally Social Climates. Journal of Social Psychology, 10, 271-310

We will write a custom sample essay on
specifically for you for only $7.00/page