Welcome to the Summer Camp Leadership blog. For those of us who lead summer camps, making a positive difference in the lives of young people is our passion. Turning that passion into a reality, however, takes more than the ability to lead songs, teach archery or plan craft projects. Creating camp experiences that truly transform lives takes leadership. Leadership that creates a vision for the future, leadership that inspires and engages others, leadership that remains focused and stays the course. My hope is through this blog you'll find ideas, inspiration and tools to help you be a great summer camp leader.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Leader & Power

As a leader your role, more often than not, is to get things done through others. To do so you need to both have and use power. Power is, quite simply, the ability to influence others. Typically in organizations there are five sources of power.

Legitimate Power - Comes from the formal position we hold in the organization.
Reward Power - Comes from our ability to provide others rewards they value.
Coercive Power - Comes from our ability to punish others.
Expert Power - Comes from the perception of others that we possess expertise.
Referent Power - Comes from the admiration and respect others have for us.

When you use your power as a leader, one of three results occur: commitment, compliance or resistance.Commitment happens when those you are trying to influence understand, agree with and embrace your instructions. Using expert and referent power are the most likely to lead to commitment. Compliance occurs when those being led reluctantly follow of directions because they feel they must. Using legitimate or reward power often lead to this reaction. Resistance typically comes when leaders employ coercive power. 

What sources of power do you possess? How could you broaden the types of power you have? How well have you used your power in the past? What factors should you consider in choosing which source of power to use in the future?