Sunday, November 20, 2022


Power is related to strength. Power is the ability to achieve something beneficial. The power can be collective, power can be collaborative. Nowadays, everybody wishes to be powerful. People want power. King gets the power by position, Presidents, Prime Ministers and political leaders get the power through collective power. In democracy, the power of the people is valuable, however it is not always used for the benefits of their own matters. They are at the mercy of their elected members for the development. This is unfortunate but power is considered as an outcome instead of the media to do something good. Power means the ability to create the better conditions and reality where one can flourish and be happily productive no matter the conditions or where the person is presently living. 

Once the power is gained the position is used to coercion. Few leaders are known because of their position and they get the power because they are appointed by somebody higher. They may not have the ability to use the power positively but then they use the power for their advantage and for others disadvantage. Absolute power makes people blind, corrupt and inhuman. The world has witnessed infamous corporate scandals. There are many examples of political leaders and dictators who misused their power putting the world in danger. 

Power is relational. Everybody is hungry for the power and hence they do different things to get the power. Achieving higher positions, being knowledgeable and expert, nominating on different social, political or organizations committee positions, doing something extra and being visible by any means are few types of how people try to get into the power; I mean getting the sense of having power.   

There are different types of power humans can get.

Positional power or legitimate power: You get the power because of your position you hold. The government gets the power because they hold the key position. CEOs, MDs, CXOs get the power once they are appointed by the board. People follow them just because they have to follow those leaders. One can still stand out and can convert this positional power into influencing power by his/her own charisma, the personal traits or developing good interpersonal and leadership skills. However this is very difficult. The attitude determines which power the positional leader uses. Most of the time influence and charisma is just eyewash. Finally it is always a positional power people use. 

Power by charisma, also called referent power: It is a personal power. The person gained this power because of his positive personality traits. The leader gets this power because s/he truly demonstrates the leadership behaviours, strong interpersonal skills, empathy and s/he carries executive presence. Here presence itself is a power. People feel comfortable while interacting with such types of leaders. 

Expert Power: Knowledge is the king. Leader gets the power based on their ability to influence the people based on their expert domain knowledge. Their influence however may be limited. The knowledge, the expertise they have brings the value on the table and hence they are recognized. Scientist,  technicians, doctors etc. are good examples of expert power.   

Reward power: We  all know how some political parties are declaring freebees to the people to lure them. Giving freebees, gifts, and declaring incentives is common to get the power. The only agenda is to be popular among the people. This may be beneficial for the short term but you spoil the culture and mindset of the people. The habit of continuous reward creates the entitlement culture. It becomes very difficult to get out of that afterwards. So then people work only for rewards and not for larger organizational purposes. Voters who elect politicians based on freebies spoil the country and we have experienced this for long.   

Coercive Power: We all know such examples in the political world. You can force the people to do what they don’t want to do. The people who get the positional power may easily use the coercive power to influence the people. 

Power itself is not bad. It is about how you use the power. Sometimes, leaders, political, social or corporate have to influence others to make the impact. In the knowledge economy, knowledge and data is a King. You can definitely integrate the knowledge, expertise, and personality traits to influence the people to do something beneficial for them or the organization. Though there is  not a concrete formula of power used, misuse of the power by positional power or coercive way is always disturbing. If the person who gets the positional power is not matured, then there is a lot of room to have the negative impact on the sentiments. 

So which power do you believe in?


Please respond the survey, I am conducting, as a part of my research by clicking on >> Leadership Competencies required for managers while handling crisis situations

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 

Author's books are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. You can buy the print copy of Vitality in Human Resources on amazon. Click >> Vitality in Human Resource: Adding human dimensions in HR processes    

Royalty from books is used for social cause. 

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Trusted Leadership

Creating the trust on leadership

"Businesses have evolved into something nearly unrecognisable compared to just two years ago. In this evolved and changed world, employees and customers are looking to leadership for guidance in the workplace."  

One of the important factors we need to think about is improving the trust capital in the organisation (please read Vinod Bidwaik : Trust Capital). However, leaders may have different opinions on how to create trust. Role modelling is missing and their limited understanding about the business and human capital is creating challenges within organisations. In fact the major weakness is they don’t know what exactly trust means. Most of the time, expectations are just to follow leaders without challenging their thought process. Lack of alignment from employees point of view is also the lack of trust on the leader. This is based on the experience employees get during the interaction with leaders. If employees don’t trust the leaders, it also means that employees are not engaged and aligned to the larger purpose. You will not see the impact short term. People still may work, achieve their results, or may just do what is told or expected, but the impact is long term.   

Leaders must also act as a guide in the midst of uncertainty. The high call of trusted leaders is to give as much clarity as possible during the VUCA world. Your fastest opportunity to build trust is in times of crisis and recovery, but it is also the time you can lose it most quickly. People don’t follow the leaders they don’t trust. 

When trust in teams goes up, people feel safe and valued so they are willing to share ideas and praise, which in turn leads to increased innovation and productivity. Trust builds psychological safety. 

How to improve trust in leadership?

Relationships: Networking and building relationships across the organisation is crucial nowadays. Relationships are primarily based on the emotional connections between employees and leaders. Sometimes title, position, poor listening skills, attitude, aggression and micro management keeps away employees from the manager. Sometimes, leaders have the blind spot of their behaviours, like managers spending more time with one team member can create the wrong perceptions in other team members. Perhaps the manager may have more stakes in the role of that person or it may be his favourite area and s/he may be doing it unintentionally but people perceive it differently. Even managers and employees living in the same area and if they are carpooling, other team members become insecure. This may lead to gossiping about the proximity between two. So as a leader, you need to build relationships so that all people get the feeling of equality.    

Clarity in communication: Communication is effective when you understand the next person. Trusted leaders speak from the heart. First they understand the audience and then decide their strategy to communicate. They demonstrate empathy and are effective in listening. It is not about showing what knowledge you have but being vulnerable and asking the right questions and saying, “I don’t know,” if they don’t know any subject.    

Role Modelling: People trust when you walk the talk. Unfortunately nowadays, all dnyan is for others and not for leaders. Nowadays sustainability is the buzzword. Every corporate leader is speaking about reducing carbon emission and the irony is that to explain sustainability, those leaders are travelling from one continent to another. People preaching on carbon emission have lavish offices with continuous running air conditioners and with luxury cars. So role modelling is very important when you want to believe people in leadership.   

Capabilities and Competencies: People will trust you when you have the functional, behavioural and leadership competencies and you are capable to manage the role you have taken. Continuous learning, being agile and relevant is the key to becoming competent. Unfortunately people speak a lot about but hardly implement in their behaviours.   


In Spite of having and doing good 100% people will not trust leadership. People still have their opinions and perceptions and those are built by them based on their experiences, right or wrong, with you. However, always keep doing good work, making a positive impact in the lives of people.

Please respond the survey, I am conducting, as a part of my research by clicking on >> Leadership Competencies required for managers while handling crisis situations

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 

Author's books are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. You can buy the print copy of Vitality in Human Resources on amazon. Click >> Vitality in Human Resource: Adding human dimensions in HR processes    

Royalty from books is used for social cause. 

You may also like these.. please read