Leadership & Power

Leadership and Power

Effective leadership cannot exist without proper authority. Similarly, authority without proper leadership is also doomed to failure. When considering this paradigm, it becomes apparent that the link between power and leadership is inevitable. Without one, the other becomes null. Leadership and power are as tied together as x and y on the Cartesian plane.

Power is defined as the ability and desire to control, but power alone does not make good leadership; even a blackmailer has evidence of possession and abuse of power. Power can, however, contribute to effective leadership by enabling the leader to take necessary steps to create change. It can allow a leader to guide, even through fear and intimidation. But power alone cannot yield purposeful leadership.

Knowledge and skill are necessary for purposeful leadership, just as power is necessary for effective leadership. The characteristics of leadership – dreaming, doing, and storytelling – prove that power is not its purpose. Leadership endows power but power is not the goal of the purposeful leader. In other words, leadership endows power but power does not ensure leadership.

Effective leadership is not the exertion of power, but giving others ownership and drive with the power granted. Thus, leaders must be shrewd in selecting the people with whom they will share responsibility. This must be done within the context of ethical balance, provided by a sound value system.