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HOME::Management Tips

Top 7 Sources Of Personal Power

By Jonathan Farrington

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Within the following 7 sections, the more you answer 'Yes' obviously the more of that type of power you have. You will probably find that in some situations, you may have legitimate power, where as in others you have expert power or reward power. In a number of instances you may have more than one type of power.

  1. Legitimate Or Position Power

    - Do you have formal and recognised authority in your role? (E.g. authority stated in your job description).

    - Do you have to give your approval before others can take action?

    - Do you have the formal right to take decisions?

    - Do you supervise other people?

  2. Reward Power

    Do you have control over valued resources in your organisation?

    - Money?

    - Promotion?

    - Access to senior management?

    - Times of work?

    - Holidays?

    - Training opportunities and budgets?

    - Expenses?

    - Other perks of the job?

  3. Coercive Power

    - Are you able to use your control over any resources mentioned for Reward Power as a sanction or punishment?

    - Does your position allow you to criticise or blame without challenge?

  4. Expert Power

    - Do you have knowledge of a specialised subject or aspect of work?

    - Does it take a long time to learn to do your job?

    - Do you need a qualification to be able to practise your skill or knowledge?

    - Is someone with your skills and knowledge key to the organisation?

    - Is your specialised subject valued within the organisation?

    - How often are you consulted about your specialised area of skill?

    - Do more senior people consult you about your particular area of expertise?

  5. Charismatic Power

    - Do people of the same status as you seem to do what you ask them without you having to use too much pressure?

    - Do people seek you out for a social chat or advice?

    - Do your subordinates do things for you cheerfully and willingly?

    - Are you popular?

  6. Connection Power

    - Are you friendly with anyone who is perceived as powerful?

    - Do you know people who might use their influence on your behalf?

  7. Information Power

    - Do you have access to valuable information before other people in the organisation?

    - Do you have a network of people who keep you informed about what is going on?

    - Do you have specific information about changes or initiatives before other people?

    - Do others seek you out to find the latest news or gossip?

    Copyright 2007 Jonathan Farrington. All rights reserved

Jonathan Farrington is the Managing Partner of The jfa Group To find out more about the author, read his latest articles or to subscribe to his newsletter, visit: You can now also read his weekly blog for dedicated business professionals:


Article Submitted On: March 09, 2007