Jan 12, 2018 in Research

The Language of Leadership

One of the characteristics of leadership is that leaders exercise power. Kisling argues that leadership is a process that often utilizes power to accomplish the interactions between leader and followers (2007). The balance between power motivations of an individual with responsibility ensures that leadership does not become narcissistic in nature (Kisling, 2007).

Bolden, Hawkins & Gosling, (2011) says that exercising power is the ability to get another person to do something he or she would not otherwise do. A power imbalance is implicit within the concept of leadership, in which a leader controls, directs, guides or transforms other people and the situation in which they find themselves (Bolden, Hawkins & Gosling, 2011).

Use of Power rather than Leadership to Influence and Thoughts about the Experience

It has never seemed right to me that someone should have that power over me or anyone. The human resource manager at my previous company where I was doing my internship simply called me up and told me that if I wish to continue in my internship, I will have to prepare to move to the research and development department or wherever the voice on the phone tells me to go. I did not like the idea of being transferred to another department forcefully, though the words did not hold any exaggerated meaning for me. 

Lessons from the Experience

Whenever I have lingered with the thought long enough to confront myself I have always come to the conclusion that if I were ever traded, no matter where I could not accept the helpless, power influence and manipulation and would retire. Nohria & Khurana (2010) noted that in the above case, that was positional power and many leaders are successful with little or no such power, while others rely on it heavily. From this experience, power should be a situational variable that can affect the influence a leader has. It is important to realize that effective leaders have a high need for power, but that need must be directed toward the benefit of the organization and not manipulation (Nohria & Khurana, 2010). 

Living Life from the Inside-out

Living inside-out is about discovering an individuals own true nature. It is also about trusting that one’s inner wisdom will keep him pointed in the right direction. Burke (2006) says that living inside-out relates to trusting that if someone acts with integrity and do what is right based on ones inner wisdom, the best things will eventually manifest in life. Living inside-out is closely related to taking responsibility whereby an individual becomes responsible for their thoughts, emotions and actions (Burke, 2006).

Living life from the Outside-in

Those who tend to live outside in tend to consider what the world will say or think before they act. This implies that conforming to the expectations of the world around is living outside in. Rothstein & Burke (2010) noted that one of the reasons people tend to live out-side in is the fear of rejection. If a person lives too much outside-in, they are not likely to be influencing for change that is leading. Burke (2006) says that living outside-in makes people believe that we really have no choice but to feel, do and to act the way they do.

Which is Better for the Leader and Why

A leader should live his or her life inside-out. This is because inside-out living emphasizes on individual learning and change initiatives, which insure a work environment conducive to performance breakthroughs. Burke (2006) says that inside-out is better for leaders because enables a person to have a deep inside-out process for collective learning and achieving direction, alignment and commitment which is essential for organizational leadership.

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