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Sources Of Power

Learn to be a more effective leader

Key learning outcomes:

  • Improve your leadership skills.
  • Learn that power and leadership are interrelated.
  • Identify the advantages and disadvantages of exercising reward power.
  • Distinguish between legitimate and coercive power.
  • Recognise referent power and its relationship to expert power.


Power and leadership are closely linked. People tend to follow those with power, and as a result people with power tend to lead. By understanding the different sources of power you can learn how to influence others more effectively and use your power in order to become a more effective leader.

In 1959, John French and Bertram Raven conducted one of the most well-known studies on power. In this study they developed what are now known as ‘French and Raven’s Five Power Sources’. We now explore each in more detail and then look at how they can be applied effectively in life and work.

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