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AUTHORITY  AND  POWER

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They have a lack of self-confidence. They want to avoid the pressure of addi- tional responsibility. Counsel any of your subordinates who show these signs of unwillingness. Help them overcome their fears and learn to accept authority and responsibility. AUTHORITY AND POWER With authority comes power. Power is the ability to influence people toward organizational objectives. However, you have limits on your authority and power. View your authority and power as a funnel, broad at the top and narrow at the bottom. Always assume you have enough authority and power to meet your obligations, but do not exceed that limit. Authority Authority  only  exists  when  subordinates accept the idea that the supervisor has authority over them. Subordinates can fail to recognize authority through disobedience, denial, or work delays.  Subordinates  usually  accept  authority readily; however, abusing your authority as a supervisor can make you ineffective. Although most authority in the Navy results from a member’s rank or position in the chain of command, many types of authority exist. Most authority in the Navy is delegated. LINE AUTHORITY. —Line authority is the authority you have over subordinates in your chain of command. This type of authority corresponds directly to your place within the chain of command and does not exist outside the chain of command. STAFF AUTHORITY. —Staff authority is the right of staff to counsel, advise, or make recommendations to line personnel. This type of authority does not give staff the right to give line personnel orders that affect the mission of the line organization. A chief from another work center or division could, by virtue of his or her rank, exercise staff authority over a person in your work center or division by counseling or advising him or her to get a haircut. Failure to follow the advice or counsel may result in nonjudicial punishment (NJP) for the subordinate. The other chief would not, however, have the authority to enter your work center or division and make changes that only you and your superiors have the authority to make. FUNCTIONAL AUTHORITY. —Certain staff organizations are granted functional authority to direct line units within the area of the staff's specialty. Examples of staff organizations with functional authority include the Legal, Equal Opportunity, and Safety Departments. Power In conjunction with your authority, you use power to influence others toward the accomplish- ment of command goals. You can use power for personal gain or for the good of the organization. However, if your subordinates believe you use power for personal gain, you will soon suffer an erosion of that power. On the other hand, if subordinates believe you use power to accomplish the organizational goals, your power to influence them will become stronger. Your power will also become stronger when you share it through delegation of authority. Of the six types of power—reward, coercive, legitimate, informational, referent, and expert— you may use one or more in various combinations. Each situation will determine the one or ones you use. REWARD POWER. —Reward power stems from your use of positive and negative rewards to influence subordinates. Positive rewards range from a smile or kind word to recommendations for awards. Negative rewards range from corrective- type counseling to placing a person on report. You will find one of the best ways to influence your subordinates is through the use of your reward power. As a chief, you are responsible for starting the positive reward process. First, write a recommendation for the award. Once the recommendation  is  typed  in  the  command’s standard award letter format, forward it up the chain of command for approval. Your job does not end here. Always follow-up on the recommen- dation, using your influence and persuasion to get the award to the proper command level. Frequent use of positive rewards will amplify the effect of a negative reward. Give positive rewards freely, but use restraint in giving negative rewards. If you use negative rewards frequently, subordinates  will  begin  to  expect  a  negative reward. Their expectation of a negative reward will lessen your power. 3-13



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