Power and Empowerment: Understanding the Principles

Esther Derby, Esther Derby Associates Inc.

Managers want teams to be empowered but often don’t want to give up their decision-making authority. Teams want to be empowered but may not know how to act on the power they already have. Executives want to drive engagement and action but see only half-hearted compliance. These are examples of power dynamics at play. Esther Derby explains that words won’t matter until people acknowledge power. Once people acknowledge the fact of power, it’s possible to look at how it is affecting people and actions. When we see power, we can see how power can make it harder—not easier—to achieve desired results. Esther explores different definitions of power, where power comes from, and how people respond to power. Learn the two definitions of power and how each affects leadership; the seven sources of power; how the use of power impacts people’s core concerns; and how to boost creativity and productivity by addressing sources of power.

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