Authority and Power

Let’s face it; most of us get a charge out of these two words.  But what do they actually mean?  And which one has a greater impact on being successful?

Power is the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others.  Former U.S. President, Dwight Eisenhower summed up this definition when he said, “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”    Power is talent that lies within each of us.  It is merely the ability to motivate others to take specific actions. 

Authority is the right granted from a person or organization to another to represent or to act in a specified way.   It is derived from the particular position and has defined limits. 

Successful people have high levels of personal power.   It is something they have earned and can be limitless.  Their power is a derivative of their personal influence which can increase their effectiveness.