Understanding Power - an Infographic » Mind Tools Blog
Understanding Power

Understanding Power – an Infographic

September 23, 2014

©GettyImages/charles taylor


“If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
Abraham Lincoln

Have you ever been inspired to achieve more than you ever thought possible? Or maybe you’ve been coerced into doing something you didn’t really want to do.

Whether a person’s power comes from their position or their personal characteristics, the most effective leaders are those who inspire others to follow. Find out how to use and develop your own sources of power in a positive and influential way, with our article on French and Raven’s Five Forms of Power.

10 thoughts on “Understanding Power – an Infographic

  1. Prof. Nazar M. Karyar wrote:

    If a manager plan to encourage his/her employer or, a Teacher wants to encourage his/her student. He or, She must apply the above 5: 1-legitmate. 2-Reward. 3. Expert. 4.Referent. 5.Coercive or, simply: believe, ability, High level of skills, perceived attractiveness/worthiness. coercive, can punish others for none-complience

    1. Midgie Thompson wrote:

      Hi Prof Karyar,
      I believe that having the positive belief in someone that they are able to learn, develop and grow is more powerful than having to resort to being coercive or punishment. Saying that, there do need to have some consequences to actions. For instance, when an employee is not performing to the level they should, there may be put on mandatory performance reviews or disciplinary procedures.

      Any thoughts about what the balance needs to be?

  2. Prof. Nazar M. Karyar wrote:

    Reading this article helps each individual to strengthen his/her mind power.

  3. Arulnathan wrote:

    Thanks for this information. As people we need to nurture our styles of leadership & understand the leaders that abound today.

  4. Jerry wrote:

    Great leaders possess Emotional Intelligence, allowing them to effectively use, and not misuse, their power to manage people and organizations. Any leader who overuses power for anything other than the betterment of people and their business is either self-absorbed or insecure.

    1. Rebel wrote:

      Great comments here. Indeed we need to use instead of abuse power. Knowing and being aware of your own leadership style is probably where emotionally intelligent leadership begins.

  5. YolandeMT wrote:

    I think the more secure someone is in him- or herself, the less they will feel a need to exert power in the wrong way. Leaders should be very aware of the influence they have and also the possibility of contributing to either healing or harming the people they deal with.

  6. Bree wrote:

    Along these lines, just yesterday I happened to listen to the 2014 Toastmasters World Champion speech called ‘I see something’. This phrase is powerful to inspire others to achieve more then they thought possible! Definitely worth remembering for leaders I think.

  7. napoleon wrote:

    I m glad to hear about this concern cause there are a lot of misuse from people who are in leadership.

    let us know about it.


    1. Ruth Hill wrote:

      I agree, Napoleon. There’s another quote I like from Michael Josephson that goes “Great leaders are teachers, not tyrants…” Let’s spread the word 🙂

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