The Role of Power in Effective Leadership CCL

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C E N T E R F O R C R E AT I V E L E A D E R S H I P. The Role of Power in Effective Leadership,Executive Summary 4. Background 5,Power and Leadership 6,Sources of Power 8. The Power of Relationships 12,The Power of Information 14. Understanding the Organization s Role 15,How Leaders Leverage Power Effectively 17. Reflection Questions 19,Resources 19,References 19.
About the Authors 20, Center for Creative Leadership CCL and its logo are registered trademarks owned by the Center for Creative Leadership 2008 Center for Creative Leadership All rights reserved. The Role of Power in Effective Leadership,EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. The Ideas2Action I2A project is a Center for Creative Leadership. CCL initiative aimed at achieving its goal of ideas into action. The purpose of the project is to provide our participants and clients. with research that is timely and relevant to current challenges The. research questions are also designed to aid in continuously updating. CCL program content and providing knowledge that is compelling to. our participant groups, The purpose of this research is to understand how leaders use power. to learn about the situations in which power is exerted and to describe. how individuals and organizations can improve their leadership through. the effective use of power,The major findings of this research included. 1 Most leaders surveyed 94 percent rated themselves as being moderately to. extremely powerful at work There is a notable correlation between leaders level in the. organization and how powerful they believe themselves to be at work. 2 28 percent of the leaders surveyed agree that power is misused by top leaders in. their organization, 3 59 percent of the leaders surveyed agree that their organization empowers people at.
all levels, 4 41 percent of the leaders surveyed indicate that they would feel more powerful at. work if they had more formal authority, 5 The top three most frequently leveraged sources of power are the power of expert. ise the power of information and the power of relationships The power of. punishment or the ability to sanction individuals for failure to conform to standards or. expectations is the least leveraged source of power. 6 The three sources of power leaders believe will be most important to leverage in the. next five years are the power of relationships the power of information and the power. to reward others, 7 The power of relationships is most often used to promote one s own personal. 8 Leaders suggest that the power of relationships can be better leveraged by identify. ing desired relationships investing in those relationships and repairing damaged. relationships, Center for Creative Leadership CCL and its logo are registered trademarks owned by the Center for Creative Leadership 2008 Center for Creative Leadership All rights reserved. The Role of Power in Effective Leadership,BACKGROUND.
The concepts of power and leadership have been and will continue to be interconnect. ed While an individual may exert power without being a leader an individual cannot. be a leader without having power For this study the I2A team defined power simply. as the potential to influence others This definition helps demystify power and puts. into perspective the importance of using power in order to be an effective leader. In organizational settings leaders must exert power to achieve individual team and. organizational goals Leaders must be able to influence their followers to achieve. greater performance their superiors and peers to make important decisions and stake. holders to ensure the vitality of the organization. H OW WAS T H E R E S E A RC H CO N D U C T E D, During a five month period of 2007 data were collected from participants attending a. CCL program via two complementary research methods The first asked participants to. complete a short survey on computer kiosks during their weeklong participation in a. CCL program These data were returned to them by the end of their program week. The second method was an Internet survey that participants volunteered to take part in. approximately two weeks following their CCL experience This survey was more in. depth and allowed the I2A research team to better understand the high level trends. that emerged from the in class survey, W H O P A R T I C I P AT E D I N T H E R E S E A R C H. In Class Survey, The initial survey on leadership power focused on high level trends and was completed. by 260 participants attending a leadership development program at CCL s Colorado. Springs CO USA campus The typical participant was a male 73 percent between the. ages of 36 and 50 years old 68 percent representing upper middle management or the. executive level 64 percent,Post Program Survey, Approximately two weeks following the CCL program 45 participants who volun. teered received an Internet survey that posed qualitative questions about power and. leadership The typical participant was male 64 percent between the ages of 36 and 50. 70 percent at the executive level 43 percent, DEMOGRAPHICS GENDER IN CLASS PERCENTAGE POST PROGRAM PERCENTAGE.
Male 73 64,Female 24 36,Not Identified 3, Center for Creative Leadership CCL and its logo are registered trademarks owned by the Center for Creative Leadership 2008 Center for Creative Leadership All rights reserved. The Role of Power in Effective Leadership,BACKGROUND CONTINUED. DEMOGRAPHICS AGE IN CLASS PERCENTAGE POST PROGRAM PERCENTAGE. 36 40 19 25,41 45 24 25,46 50 25 20,51 55 14 11,DEMOGRAPHICS LEVEL. IN ORGANIZATION IN CLASS PERCENTAGE POST PROGRAM PERCENTAGE. First Level 1 2,Middle Management 17 30,Upper Middle Management 28 16. Executive 36 43,Top Management 15 9,Not Identified 3.
POWER AND LEADERSHIP, We wanted to gauge the perception leaders have of their own sense of power Based on. the sample of leaders surveyed most recognize that they possess power at work. There is also a notable correlation between how powerful a leader believes he or she is. at work and that leader s level in the organization Leaders at a higher organizational. level tended to rate themselves as more powerful at work while those lower in the. organizational hierarchy tended to rate themselves as less powerful. Center for Creative Leadership CCL and its logo are registered trademarks owned by the Center for Creative Leadership 2008 Center for Creative Leadership All rights reserved. The Role of Power in Effective Leadership,POWER AND LEADERSHIP CONTINUED. How powerful do you think you are at work Survey participants were asked. to rate how powerful they think they are at work on a 1 to 7 scale where 1. equals Not at all Powerful and 7 equals Extremely Powerful. We also sought to understand how power is perceived within organizations The data. indicate some tensions around distribution of power. Most of the survey respondents 59 percent agreement believe that their organizations. work to empower their people at all levels and 53 percent of those surveyed agreed. that their organization rewards leaders for empowering people. Even so over half 55 percent agreement stated that power is concentrated among a. few select individuals in their organization Twenty eight percent of survey participants. agreed that power is misused by top leaders within their organizations. Only 29 percent believed that their organizations teach their leaders how to effectively. leverage their full power, These organizational trends relative to power and leadership suggest that while power. is not typically misused by top leaders it does tend to be concentrated to a select few. individuals However the flatter organizational structures and self directed work teams. that were first implemented through the empowerment movements of the 1980s and. 1990s are becoming commonplace This trend may increase the level of empowerment. that employees experience in future years, Organizations also reward leaders who empower the people they lead thereby encour. aging overall employee empowerment however fewer organizations take the opportu. nity to teach leaders how to effectively use the power they possess This leaves the defi. nition of appropriate and effective use of power largely up to individual leaders. Center for Creative Leadership CCL and its logo are registered trademarks owned by the Center for Creative Leadership 2008 Center for Creative Leadership All rights reserved. The Role of Power in Effective Leadership,POWER AND LEADERSHIP CONTINUED.
The Perception of Power Survey participants were asked whether they agree. or disagree with a number of statements about power in their organizations. PERCENTAGE AGREE,My organization empowers people at all levels 59. In my organization power is concentrated in the,hands of a few select individuals 55. My organization rewards leaders for empowering their. My organization teaches leaders how to leverage,their full power 29. Power is misused by top leaders in my organization 28. SOURCES OF POWER, When most people think about power their minds go immediately to the control that. high level leaders exert from their positions atop the organizational hierarchy But. power extends far beyond the formal authority that comes from a title or from having. a corner office with a view, Leaders at all levels have access to power often that power goes unrecognized or.
underutilized Previous research in this area has identified seven bases of power that. leaders may leverage, z The power of position is the formal authority that derives from a person s title or posi. tion in a group or an organization, z The power of charisma is the influence that is generated by a leader s style or persona. z The power of relationships is the influence that leaders gain through their formal and. informal networks both inside and outside of their organizations. z The power of information is the control that is generated through the use of evidence. deployed to make an argument, z The power of expertise is the influence that comes from developing and communicat. ing specialized knowledge or the perception of knowledge. z The power of punishment is the ability to sanction individuals for failure to conform to. standards or expectations, z The power of reward is the ability to recognize or reward individuals for adhering to. standards or expectations, Center for Creative Leadership CCL and its logo are registered trademarks owned by the Center for Creative Leadership 2008 Center for Creative Leadership All rights reserved.
The Role of Power in Effective Leadership,SOURCES OF POWER CONTINUED. In the survey respondents were asked to identify the extent to which they currently. leverage the various sources of power at work The top three most frequently leveraged. sources of power are the power of expertise the power of information and the power. of relationships, The least leveraged source of power is the power of punishment The low reliance on. punishment raises some important questions for leaders Why don t leaders use pun. ishment power more frequently Is it because it is needed so rarely Or are leaders. reluctant to use punishment power because it is too draining and difficult to do so. Putting Power to Use Survey participants were asked To what extent do. you leverage the following sources of power at work The figure below. represents the average ratings for each base of power. Survey respondents were also asked to identify which of the sources of power would be. most important in the next five years Eighty nine percent of participants reported that. the power of relationships would be most important in the next five years followed by. the power of information 57 percent This finding is illustrative of leadership in the. age of networks The proliferation of technology has contributed to the development of. vast and fast social and informational networks The leaders of the future will need to. know how to leverage such networks to advance their relationships as well as their pro. curement of real and useful data, The power to reward others ranked as the third most important source of power 51. percent with the power of expertise ranking fourth 48 percent. Center for Creative Leadership CCL and its logo are registered trademarks owned by the Center for Creative Leadership 2008 Center for Creative Leadership All rights reserved. The Role of Power in Effective Leadership,SOURCES OF POWER CONTINUED. Looking ahead What are the three sources of power most critical for you to. leverage in the next five years, The initial survey piqued our interest as to whether different sources of power were.
more often leveraged with different stakeholders In the post program follow up sur. vey respondents were asked which sources of power they tend to use with their boss or. superior peers or direct reports, The results indicated that the power of expertise the power of information and the. power of relationships were most used with boss and superiors peers and direct. reports This finding parallels the above discussion and suggests that survey respon. dents are not leveraging other distinct sources of power with the different stakeholder. The same follow up survey indicates that respondents need to leverage relationship. power even more with all stakeholder groups in order to be perceived as more effective. With direct reports respondents say that it is also important for them to leverage the. The Role of Power in Effective Leadership We wanted to gauge the perception leaders have of their own sense of power Based on the sample of leaders surveyed most recognize that they possess power at work There is also a notable correlation between how powerful a leader believes he or she is at work and that leader s level in the

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