How to Achieve Leadership Power and Influence

If you want to establish strong leadership power and influence, learn what it means to establish “referent” power.   It is far more effective than power based on position, title, or the ability to reward or punish.  (The only other kind of leadership power that is almost as effective is being an acknowledged expert in a relevant subject.)  Referent power comes from people believing in you because of your honesty, your genuine interest in working with and developing people, having a clear vision and strategy for moving an organization forward, and a track record of not misleading people.  Referent power is characterized by a high level of trust and respect.

You can establish referent power and influence through consistent intent and behaviors.  And just as communication occurs in the receiver of communications (not the sender,) referent power is manifest in the hearts and minds of followers — it cannot be imposed by the leader.  And that is its strength.

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