Collins Concise dictionary defines leadership as the "position or guidance of a person or thing that leads, directing, commanding, or a guiding head, as of a group or activity". However, leadership has not one single definition, but many. Leadership is often an intangible factor that makes one group more effective than another. It exists at different levels within organisations and should be woven throughout the entire fabric of any organisation. Different organisations use different ways to effectively teach or mould their employees on how to be effective leaders.
This paper will discuss types of power such as; utilising and influencing others, rewarding or punishing others, how to confirm leadership by the role of an organisation, and how people identify with a leader, such as a charismatic Chief Executive, an eminent politician or even a rock star! . It will cover five categories of power 1 that interlink with each other and bring together a better focus on the theories of power.
The functions of leadership are many and varied depending upon the basic problem a group must deal with, and the type of leadership style in action, the latter being dependent on the leader's basis of power. Power, in the case of leadership, is divided into the five categories referenced above. They are, however, linked with another, as they are inter-related. Expert power is concerned with skills, knowledge and information, and the holders of such abilities or power are able to utilise this to influence others; ie technicians in a particular field of expertise, disseminating information to those less informed. Reward and Coercive power differ from this, as they involve the ability to either reward or punish persons being influenced, in order to gain that person's compliance. This kind of coercive power is "most effective when those subject to this form of power are aware of expectations, and are warned in advance about the penalties for failure to comply.