Articles

Leadership 101: Personal Power vs Positional Power

Leadership is defined by two distinct types of power: personal power and positional power. Personal power is an internal strength rooted in character and leadership abilities, while positional power is derived from one's organizational title. Effective leaders balance these powers, inspiring their teams while maintaining clear boundaries.

Leadership is an integral part of any organisation. It is the foundation for a successful workplace, and plays a vital role in motivating employees to reach their highest potential. The type of power that leaders have can greatly influence the performance of their team and the organisation as a whole.

 

 

There are two main types of power: personal power and positional power.

 

Personal power is the type of power that comes from within. It is based on a leader’s own personal strengths and capabilities, such as their character and leadership skills. This type of power usually comes naturally to leaders, but it can be enhanced through practice, rituals and experience. Leaders with strong personal power are able to effectively motivate their team, inspire them to take on challenges, and help them reach their maximum potential.

 

Positional power is the type of power that comes from a leader’s title or position within an organisation. This type of power relies heavily on authority and hierarchy, as it is based on the concept that those in higher positions have more influence over decisions than those in lower positions. Though it can be an effective tool, positional power does not always lead to positive outcomes. If a leader is too authoritarian or relies on positional power too heavily, it can create an environment of fear and resentment rather than one of motivation and success.

 

Overall, both personal power and positional power are important elements of successful leadership. A leader who has a combination of both is able to motivate and inspire their team in an effective way, and support their team to reach its maximum potential, while still maintaining healthy boundaries and providing clear direction. It’s important for leaders to be aware of the power dynamics within their organisation, as this will help them find the right balance between personal and positional power when leading their team. With the right approach and attitude, a leader can use a good combination of both types of power to create a successful, empowering and inspiring work environment, that can lead to increased productivity and success. Who wouldn’t want to work in this environment and for this type of leader?!

 

Here at Peter Doyle Coaching, we want people to see us as real-world, hands-on workplace practitioners just like them.

 

We are the thirty-year, lived experience workplace owners and practitioners ourselves – we take leading-edge Ideas, Tools, Strategies, and Techniques into everyday workplaces to deliver great outcomes. We get our hands dirty and walk our talk in a hugely diverse range of workplaces decade after decade and learn by doing as our clients do in their work roles too.

 

Naturally, we are proud of our academic credentials and formal qualifications (positional power) and we know how to use that knowledge with clarity and confidence (personal power).

 

If you are struggling to balance your Personal Power with your Positional Power, or want to know tools you can learn to tune into your Personal Power, then I would encourage you to reach out to us at Peter Doyle Coaching. We offer individual coaching sessions for leaders, entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders; group mastery programs; as well as online training videos. With my 30+ years of experience in coaching and counselling clients, I will work with you to explore your strengths and skills, and develop concrete tools you can use to help you tune into your higher Personal Power and move you to your highest potential.

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