Extraordinary activities: Excellent performance in unusual or nonroutine activities.
(Occupying new positions, managing substantial changes, and taking great risks)
Visible activities: Extraordinary activities will fail to generate power if no one knows about
them. Identify and publicize activities is important.
Relevant activities: Extraordinary, visible work may fail to generate power if no one cares. If
nobody sees the work as relevant to the solution of important organizational problems, it will
not add to one’s influence.
Cultivating the right people: developing informal relationships with the right people can
prove a useful means of acquiring power.
Outsiders: Establishing good relationships with key people outside one’s organization can lead
to increased power within the organization. Cultivating outsiders may also contribute to more
tangible sources of power.
Subordinates: An individual can gain influence if she is closely identified with certain up-and-
----Cultivating subordinate interests can also provide power when a manager can demonstrate that
he or she is backed by a cohesive team
Peers: Cultivating good relationships with peers is mainly a means of ensuring that nothing
gets in the way of one’s future acquisition of power. (As one moves up through the ranks,
favors can be asked of former associates)
----People often avoid contact with peers whose reputation is seen as questionable.
Superiors: mentors or sponsors because of the special interest they show in a promising
subordinate. Mentors can provide special information and useful introductions to other “right
4. Empowerment-putting power where it is needed
Empowerment: Giving people the authority, opportunity, and motivation to take initiative and
solve organizational problems.
----In practice, having the authority to solve an organizational problem means having legitimate
power. (The boss delegate it to a subordinate)
----Having opportunity usually means freedom from bureaucratic barriers and other system
problems that block initiative.
----Empowerment equation suggests hiring people who will be intrinsically motivated by power
and opportunity and aligning extrinsic rewards with successful performance.
----Transformational leaders who compress confidence in subordinates’ abilities can contribute to
----People who are empowered have a strong sense of self-efficacy, the feeling that they are
capable of doing their jobs well.
----Empowerment fosters job satisfaction and high performance. Empowerment puts power where
it is needed to make the organization effective. It depends on organizational strategy and customer
expectations. Those predicated on customized, personalized service need more empowered
Exhibit 12.2: People are empowered, and should exhibit effective performance when they have
sufficient power to carry out their jobs.