This chapter has defined power as the capacity or potential to exert influence, influence tactics as
the behaviors used by one person to modify the attitudes and behaviors of another, and influence
as the degree of change in a person's attitudes, values, or behaviors as the result of another's
influence tactic. Because power, influence, and influence tactics play such an important role in
the leadership process, this chapter provides ideas to help leaders improve their effectiveness. By
reflecting on their different bases of power, leaders may better understand how they can affect
followers and even expand their power. The five bases of power also offer clues as to why
subordinates are able to influence leaders and successfully resist leaders' influence attempts.
Leaders also may gain insight into why they may not enjoy certain aspects of their
responsibilities by reflecting on their own need for power or motivation to manage; they may
also better understand why some leaders exercise power selfishly by considering McClelland's
concepts of personalized power and activity inhibition. Leaders can improve their effectiveness
by finding ways to enhance their idiosyncratic credit and not permitting in-group and out-group
rivalries to develop in the work unit.
Although power is an extremely important concept, having power is relatively
meaningless unless a leader is willing to exercise it. The exercise of power occurs primarily
through the influence tactics leaders and followers use to modify the attitudes and behaviors of
each other. The type of influence tactics used seems to depend on the amount of different types
of power possessed, the degree of resistance expected, and the rationale behind the different
influence tactics. Because influence tactics designed to build up others are generally more
successful than those that tear down others, leadership practitioners should always consider why
they are using a particular influence attempt before they actually use it. By carefully considering
the rationale behind the tactic, leaders may be able to avoid using pressure and legitimizing
tactics and to find ways to influence followers that build them up rather than tear them down.
Being able to use influence tactics that modify followers' attitudes and behaviors in the desired
direction at the same time they build up followers' self-esteem and self-confidence should be a
skill all leaders strive to master.