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LEGITIMATE POWER

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COERCIVE  POWER.  —Coercive power results from the expectation of a negative reward if  your  wishes  are  not  obeyed.  For  example, suppose you have counseled a subordinate twice for minor infractions of regulations. At the third counseling session, you threaten the subordinate with NJP. At the next occurrence of the un- desirable behavior, you place the subordinate on report. Coercive power works, but is not the preferred method of leading subordinates. It works best if used when all else fails and you feel sure you can carry through with a threat. Before giving a threat, you should have some insight as to how the CO will handle the case. You do not want to recommend maximum punishment only to have the CO dismiss the case at mast. LEGITIMATE POWER. —Legitimate power comes  from  the  authority  of  your  rate  and position in the chain of command. You use this power in day-to-day business. Although legitimate power increases with added responsibilities, you can decrease that power if you fail to meet all of your responsibilities. To increase your legitimate power, assume some of the division officer’s responsibilities. At first, the division officer will be glad to have the help. In time, the division officer will view the responsibilities as yours and formally delegate additional authority to you. That would increase your legitimate power without diminishing the power of the division officer. Just as you can increase your legitimate power by assuming more responsibility, you can decrease that power by losing responsibility. For example, if you permit the division officer to assume some of your responsibilities, the division officer will eventually begin to view your responsibilities as his or hers. You will then have less legitimate power. However, when a subordinate wishes to assume some of your responsibilities, formally delegate those responsibilities to the subordinate. That makes the subordinate accountable to you. You then increase the subordinate’s power while retaining your power. INFORMATIONAL POWER. —Informational power depends on your giving or withholding of information or having knowledge that others do not have. Use informational power when giving orders to subordinates. Give orders in such a manner that your subordinates presume the order originated at your level. When forced to comply with orders you do not agree with, don’t introduce the order by saying    "The  division  officer said.  .  ."   Phrase and present the order in a manner that leaves no doubt you initiated it. Rely on your own resources to stay fully informed instead of depending on others. Subordinates may present unreliable information in a manner that makes it appear to be true. Superiors may become so involved with projects they forget to keep you informed of tasks being assigned or upcoming inspections. Information is power. Stay informed! REFERENT POWER.  —Referent  power derives from your subordinates’ identification or association with you. You have this power by simply being "the chief." People identify with the ideals you stand for. The chief has a pre-established image. You can enhance that image by exhibiting charisma, courage, and charm. An improved image increases your referent power. Always be aware of how others will perceive your actions. A negative image in the eyes of others will lessen your power and render you ineffective. Maintain a positive image! EXPERT POWER. —Expert power comes from your knowledge in a specific area through which you influence others. You have expert power because your subordinates regard you as an expert in your rating. Subordinates may also have  this  type  of  power.  When  you  combine expert power with other types of power, you will find it an effective tool in influencing others. However, when you use it by itself, you will find it ineffective. LEADERSHIP Good leadership is of primary impor- tance in that it provides the motivating force which leads to coordinated action and unity of effort. Personnel leadership must be fused with authority since a leader must encourage, inspire, teach, stimulate, and motivate all individuals of the organi- zation to perform their respective assign- ments well, enthusiastically, and as a team. Leadership must ensure equity for each member of the organization. Concerning actions in his or her area of responsibility, the leader should never allow a subordinate to be criticized or penalized except by himself or herself or such other authority as the law prescribes. —Standard Organization and Regulations of the U.S. Navy 3-14



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