Think of a leader you"ve known who relied on their ability to self-control or reward civilization to gain points done. Then, remind yourself of a leader who was a renowned expert in their area, or who you really admired for their integrity.

You are watching: All of the following are sources of leader power except ________.

How did it feel to work-related for these leaders, and which one got the best from you? The method a leader behaves toward you and just how efficiently you job-related as a result can both depfinish on the source of their power. And their power need not come from their official standing or title.

Social psychologists John French and Bertram Raven studied this phenomenon even more than half a century earlier. Despite its age, their study deserve to still help us to understand why some leaders influence us, exactly how ready we are to accept their power, and – if you are a leader – exactly how you can build brand-new power bases to get the ideal from your people.

Not all creates of power have a positive influence.

Understanding Power

In 1959, French and also Raven explained five bases of power:

Legitimate – This originates from the idea that a perchild has the formal best to make demands, and also to suppose others to be compliant and also obedient.Reward – This outcomes from one person"s capacity to compensate an additional for compliance.Expert – This is based upon a person"s high levels of ability and also expertise.Referent – This is the outcome of a person"s viewed attractiveness, worthiness and ideal to others" respect.Coercive – This originates from the idea that a perchild have the right to punish others for noncompliance.

Six years later on, Raven included an additional power base:

Informational – This outcomes from a person"s capability to regulate the information that others should attain something.

By understanding these different develops of power, you deserve to learn to use the positive ones to complete result, while preventing the negative power bases that supervisors deserve to instinctively count on.

The Bases of Power

Let"s check out French and also Raven"s bases of power in 2 teams – positional and personal.

Positional Power Sources

Legitimate Power

A president, prime minister or monarch has actually legitimate power. So does a CEO, a religious minister, or a fire chief. Electoral mandays, social hierarchies, cultural norms, and business framework all provide the basis for legitimate power.

This form of power, yet, can be unpredictable and unsteady. If you lose the title or position, your legitimate power can instantly disappear, bereason civilization were influenced by the place you organized rather than by you.

Also, the scope of your power is restricted to situations that others believe you have actually a appropriate to manage. If a fire chief tells civilization to stay ameans from a burning structure, for example, they"ll most likely listen. But if he tries to make two civilization act even more courteously toward one another, they"ll most likely neglect the instruction.

Reward Power

People in power are frequently able to offer out rewards . Raises, promotions, desirable assignments, training avenues, and also straightforward compliments – these are all examples of rewards regulated by world "in power." If others suppose that you"ll reward them for doing what you desire, there"s a high probcapacity that they"ll do it.

The difficulty via this power base is that it may not be as solid as it first seems. Supervisors hardly ever have complete control over salary increases, supervisors often can not regulate promovements by themselves, and also CEOs require permission from their boards of directors for some actions. Also, once you use up rewards, or when the rewards do not have enough perceived value, your power weakens.


The exceptions to this are praise and thanks . We love to receive them and, finest of all, they"re free to give!

Coercive Power

This source of power is also problematic, and can be abused. What"s even more, it deserve to reason dissatisfaction or resentment among the civilization it"s applied to.

Threats and punishment are common coercive tools. You usage coercive power as soon as you suggest or threaten that someone will be fired, demoted or denied privileges. While your position may permit you to execute this, though, it doesn"t mean that you have actually the will certainly or the justification to do so. You might sometimes should punish human being as a last rekind however if you usage coercive power too a lot, civilization will certainly leave. (You could additionally risk being accused of bullying them.)

Informational Power

Having control over information that others need or want puts you in an effective position. Having access to confidential financial reports, being mindful of who"s because of be lhelp off, and also learning where your team is going for its yearly “amethod day” are all examples of informational power.

In the modern economic situation, information is a particularly potent develop of power. The power derives not from the information itself but from having actually access to it, and from being in a position to share, withorganize, manipulate, distort, or conceal it. With this type of power, you deserve to use information to assist others, or as a weapon or a barobtaining tool against them.

Personal Power Sources

Relying on these positional develops of power alone can lead to a cold, technocratic, impoverished style of leadership. To be a true leader, you need an extra robust source of power than a title, an capacity to reward or punish, or access to information.

Expert Power

When you have understanding and also skills that permit you to understand also a instance, suggest solutions, use solid judgment, and generally outperform others, people will certainly listen to you, trust you, and also respect what you say. As a topic matter expert , your principles will have actually value, and also others will look to you for management in that area.

What"s even more, you deserve to expand your confidence , decisiveness and reputation for rational thinking right into other subjects and also worries. This is a good method to build and also keep experienced power, and to improve your management skills.

You have the right to check out more around structure skilled power, and also using it as an efficient structure for management, below .

Referent Power

Referent power comes from one perboy liking and respecting another, and identifying through them in some way. Celebrities have actually referent power, which is why they have the right to influence everything from what civilization buy to which politician they elect. In a workplace, a perchild through referent power regularly renders everyone feel excellent, so he often tends to have many affect.

Referent power deserve to be a big obligation, bereason you don"t necessarily need to carry out anypoint to earn it. So, it have the right to be abprovided fairly quickly. Someone who is likeable, yet that lacks integrity and also honesty, may climb to power – and use that power to hurt and alienate world and also to obtain personal advantage.

Relying on referent power alone is not a good strategy for a leader that desires longevity and also respect. When it is combined via experienced power, yet, it can assist you to be very successful.


You can watch our infographic of French and also Raven"s concept here:


Key Points

In 1959, social psychologists John French and also Bertram Raven determined five bases of power:


And, six years later, included an added power base:


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Anyone is qualified of holding power and also affecting others: you do not need to have actually a vital job title or a huge office. But if you acknowledge the various forms of power, you can avoid being influenced by those that use the less positive ones – and you can emphasis on emerging experienced and referent power for yourself. This will aid you to come to be an influential and reliable leader.

Apply This to Your LifeGo through each power base and write dvery own once and also how you"ve offered it.Ask yourself if you used the power accordingly. Consider the expected and unexpected aftermath, and decide what you"ll execute differently following time.Think around the human being that have actually power and affect over you. What resources of power perform they use? Do they use their power appropriately? Wbelow crucial, develop a strategy to mitigate someone else"s illegitimate use of power over you.When you feel powermuch less or overly influenced, think about just how you might regain your own power and regulate. After all, you"re never without power. Aim to be even more mindful of the power you have actually, and use it to obtain what you need – humanely.