Authority, Power and Leadership
DOI link for Authority, Power and Leadership
Authority, Power and Leadership book
Authority derives from both external and internal structures. This chapter makes a distinction between authority and power, considering authority as an attribute of a role, and power as an attribute of the person in the role. Authority without power leads to weakened management, whereas power without authority can lead to an authoritarian regime. It identifies three sources of authority: ‘from above’ (delegated), ‘from below’ (sanctioned from those being managed), and ‘from within’ (the role-holder’s capacity to authorise themselves to act in order to achieve the primary task of the system). It goes on to identify sources of power, both external and internal, and suggests the concept of ‘good enough’ authority, by analogy with Winnicott’s ‘good-enough mother’ The chapter explores the impact of envy, rivalry and projective processes in the exercise of authority and power. Many of the concepts in this chapter have been developed and refined in group relations conferences over the past 60 years. These are designed to enable participants to learn in the ‘here and now’ about how to exercise authority and power more effectively.