I’m reading through Leadership Divided and it quotes something from John French and Bertram Raven. They call these the 6 sources of power but they could just as well refer to influence in general. They are:
- Positional – based on a person’s role, which gives them the ability to give orders and make demands
- Referent – based on being liked or admired
- Coercive – based on having the ability to control something someone else needs
- Reward – based on the ability to grant or distribute rewards, including money, recognition, promotions, referrals, or other favors
- Expertise – based on having knowledge and skills that others do not possess or that are needed for a specific task
- Experience – based on having information or perspective that others do not have
This got me really thinking about what I naturally do and what I see those who I follow use. It seems to me that there are really only half of these that I would consider positive ongoing reasons for people to follow you: referent, expertise, and experience. This offers an interesting filter from which to observe and navigate the workplace.