THE THIRD TASK OF LEADERSHIP: MANAGING POWER PROCESSES
Power however is another important task that leaders have to be able to manage and control. Power affects individuals differently. It is almost impossible to predict how different leaders will behave under the influence of power. Power has a dual effect. In the context of TQM and particularly during the drive to establish customer-supplier chains, power has to be considered at both the 'servant and master' levels.
Power however is another important task that leaders have to be able to manage and control. Power has been defined by Price as follows:
‘The force which gets things done is called power. Without it all the foregoing is nothing more than potential and its actualization cannot happen without the exercise of power. Power could be defined as the imposition of the will of one individual upon the actions of others. ‘
Power expectations in the context of leadership: Power has a dual effect. Most managers in organisations are both ‘masters and servants’.
Table shows the paradoxical approach to power distribution.
- On the one hand, managers as subordinates appear to accept that they have little power to change their bosses and therefore only expect to be briefed on what the tasks are, how they have to be done and encouraged to do them.
- They feel that they are in no position to influence their bosses' behaviour as they do not consider that delegation or communication is important.
- Ironically, as masters of power, managers who consider that communication, encouragement and support are vital to them performing well, do not give them to their subordinates.
- They consider that their subordinates should perform well and be loyal, obedient and honest. Is this because they wish to have more power and control over their subordinates?
- This is reinforced by the fact that they do not welcome initiatives from their subordinates very often (only 31%) and they do not want them to exhibit other skills which may help them achieve more.
As a master of power
- Is what I expect from my subordinates reasonable?
- Should I ask them what they think?
- Is it what I expect from my own superiors?
- Should I tell my subordinates what the task is, what my opinion of its achievement is and invite them to suggest alternatives?
- Do I provide them with enough information?
- Do I communicate with them effectively?
- Do I clearly indicate to them that they have my total support and encouragement?
As a subordinate of power
- Should I just do what my boss expects from me?
- If I consider that a request for a task is unreasonable or could be done in a different way, should I tell my boss that it is so?
- Should I be honest with my boss and tell him/her what my strengths and weaknesses are?