Effective management requires an understanding of power. The managers who are aware of and know how to use ideas of power are able to accomplish goals effectively. Managers need to be aware of the issues, which surround the idea of power.
There are a few points, which will be explained. First, the manager needs to see that power can be viewed in a positive way. Second, the manager needs to understand the importance of having power. Third, the manager needs to accurately assess and be realistic about their own level of power. Fourth, the manager needs to be careful with the psychological shift that they themselves can undergo as a result of having power. Fifth, the manager needs to be aware of the fact that there are many people against the idea of power, and also be ready to counter this sentiment.
My first point deals with seeing power in a positive way. A manager must believe that it is a positive thing to have power. For example, another way to think about the idea of power is to think about the idea of freedom. The definition of freedom actually has the word power in it, and it is; “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” So freedom is about doing things that one wishes, and exerting one’s will. As for power, the definition of power states that it is “the ability to do something or act in a particular way”. So it seems, that the definitions of power and freedom are somewhat similar.
My second point deals with the importance of having power. Power is important because; it allows the manger the control they need to accomplish goals, it allows the manager to defend against attacks or threats, and it allows the manager to dissuade group members from leaving.
My third point deals with the understanding that managers should have about their own level of power. The managers should figure out how much power they have, and if they do not have enough, should work to improve the situation. Managers who do not possess power need to take professional courses and training. The training will enhance and expand their knowledge base, and this will serve to increase their overall expert authority. Having obtained knowledge authority, the manager will be able to obtain more power as well.
My fourth point deals with the change in psychology of people who are given power. Power does have an effect on the psychological development of the person in charge. Let’s consider an example of a person who is given power, and a kind of psychological change that can occur. Imagine a new manager offers directions to subordinates. Let’s then assume that the subordinates not only do what is expected, but they do more than is expected. The leader would probably attribute this great willingness to follow directions to their own personal charisma. The leaders confidence would be enhanced. The followers would see this enhanced confidence, which would trigger them to further follow directions willingly. The cycle would repeat, which would further increase the confidence of the leader.
The fifth and final point in regards to power has to do with the need for managers to realize that others have issues with people in a position of power. These people have legitimate concerns. They may be afraid that power my be misused. To overcome objections from such people, the manger needs to focus on the idea of the ‘regulation of power’. The manager needs to discuss how people in power are monitored and controlled by other authorities. In addition, the manager needs to explain how great things are usually accomplished by people who are provided with power, otherwise difficult and challenging tasks could not be accomplished. Simply put, people cannot be against the idea of power if they want great things to be accomplished or problems resolved.
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