Compare and contrast the position and personal power.


Position Power – Position power is derived from top management, and is delegated down the chain of command. Thus, a person having managerial position has more power to influence than a person who is not a manager. Power is used to get people to do something they otherwise would not have done. Some people view power as the ability to make people do what they want them to do or the ability to do something to people or for people. Within an organization, power should be viewed in a positive sense. Without power, managers many not be able to achieve organizational objectives. Leadership and power go hand in hand. Leadership is the art of persuading others to want to do what you want them to do. Employees are not influenced without a reason, and the reason is often the power a manager has over them. Managers rely on position power to get the job done. All managers have position power, but they may or may not have personal power. Non-managers do not have position power, but they may have personal power.

Personal Power – Personal power is derived from the followers based on the leader’s behavior. Charismatic leaders have personal power. Again, followers do have some power over leaders. Followers must consent to the governing influence of managers for the organization to be successful. Unions are often the result of follower dissatisfaction with management behavior and the desire to balance power. Followers can restrict performance, sabotage operations, initiate grievances, hold demonstrations, make complaints to higher managers, and hurt the leader’s reputation.

The two sources of power are relatively independent, yet they have some overlap. For example, a manager can have only position power or both position and personal power, but a non-manager can have only personal power. The trend is for managers to give more power or empowerment to employees. Today’s effective leaders are relying less on position power and more on personal power to influence others, and they are open to being influenced by followers with personal power. Therefore, as a manager, it is best to have both position power and personal power.



Robert N. Lussier, (2010). LEADERSHIP: Theory, Application, & Skill Development. 2010 Cengage Learning. Page 110-111.

Compare and contrast the position and personal power Answer