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Do you know what are your sources of POWER?
August 06, 2019

Take a look at the BIG Announcement after you finish reading today’s article

Have you ever asked yourself this question?

“As the leader of the team I lead, what are my sources of power?”

IF you look for “sources of organizational power,” you are going to find several answers.

Some authors claim there are FIVE sources of power in an organization, some authors declare there are SIX, some authors assert there are SEVEN, etc.

To keep things simple, clear, and practical, I suggest you focus your attention on THREE sources of power:

In no particular order …

Your FIRST source of power is your POSITIONAL Power

This power comes from the position you have within your organization.

As the direct supervisor of your direct reports, you have the authority to assign tasks to them, to assess their work, to decide salary increases, etc.

It is this Positional Power that allows you to punish employees too.

And it is this Positional Power that allows you to recognize them and reward them as well.

Your SECOND source of power is your KNOWLEDGE Power

This power comes from your expertise, experience and competencies.

As the direct supervisor of your direct reports, this Knowledge Power gives you the ability to command how things must get executed.

Also, this Knowledge Power gives you the ability to earn your direct reports’ respect and admiration—independently of your Positional Power.

Your THIRD source of power is your INFLUENTIAL Power

This power comes from how well you know and understand your direct reports, from how well you take care of them, from your relationship-oriented competencies, and from your character-oriented competencies.

The more your direct reports know you, like you, and trust you, the more likely it is that you will generate intrinsic motivation in them towards whatever it is you want them to do.

As the direct supervisor of your direct reports, this Influential Power gives you the ability to influence their behavior—independently of your Positional Power.


On one hand, when you are just the boss—without leadership competencies—you are more likely to practice Positional Power (generating mostly control).

When you control your direct reports, you motivate them extrinsically. But extrinsic motivation is not sustainable—extrinsic motivation leads your direct reports to doing strictly the minimum necessary.

On the other hand, when you have leadership competencies—independently of your hierarchy in the organization—you are more like to practice Influential Power (generating inspiration).

When you inspire your direct reports, you motivate them intrinsically. Intrinsic motivation is sustainable—intrinsic motivation tends to generate among your direct reports discretionary effort (discretionary effort is when your direct reports go above and beyond of what is strictly required).

In other words: In general—not always but in general—you want to inspire your direct reports, rather than to control them. You want to practice Influential Power and Knowledge Power, rather than Positional Power and Knowledge Power.

Four Self-Awareness QUESTIONS:

1) While leading your direct reports, which source of power do you usually tend to practice more, Positional Power or Influential Power?

2) Do you believe you could exercise more Influential Power and less Positional Power with your direct reports? If so, what three things you need to do to improve in this regard?

3) In relation to your Knowledge Power, there will always be room for improvement. But, what is one thing you could do to improve your Knowledge Power in the short term?

4) How could you become more effective while practicing your Positional Power?


Having awareness about your sources of power helps you generate intrinsic motivation, inspiration, and discretionary effort among your direct reports, making you a much more POWERFUL leader.

BIG Announcement!

In the near future—I don’t have the exact date yet—in order to give you a better service, I repeat: In order to give you a BETTER SERVICE, I will change platform and domain name.

Instead of receiving this Leader Newsletter from, you will receive my emails from

Plus—when I switch to this new platform and domain name—I will send you several surprises!

To begin with:

I will send you a video about team structure and THE strategy in team building.

I will also send you another video about the nine myths most managers believe, and what to do instead.

I will also send you yet another video about my answers to the Frequently Asked Questions I have been receiving over the years from thousands of managers (both from my live seminars and from you, my dear reader).

And so much more!

I repeat: Instead of receiving this Leader Newsletter from, you will receive my emails from

I have one FAVOR to ask you:

I have been publishing this Leader Newsletter for over 10 years now. If you want to continue receiving practical leadership tools and techniques from me, would you please whitelist this new email address ( in your address book?

And if you are NOT interested, would you please unsubscribe by clicking on the corresponding link, at the bottom of this email, where it reads, “If you wish to remove yourself from this mailing, please click on the following URL”

By remaining on this mailing, you agree to receive my future emails not from but from

As soon as I have the exact date, I will let you know.

In the meantime, I will continue writing to you from

Stay tuned.
Joseluis :)
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See you next month!
Joseluis Romero - Publisher
August 6, 2019. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month
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