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Project Management Leadership: Building Creative Teams, 2nd Edition by Rory Burke, Steve Barron

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Chapter 7

Power to Influence

Learning Outcomes
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
  • Understand that power is derived from the project manager’s position in the organization and the project manager’s personality.
  • Understand how to address the responsibility–authority gap.
  • Develop a plan to enhance the project manager’s power to influence the outcome of the project.

Project leadership is a process by which a project manager can direct, guide and influence the behavior of the project team and participants towards accomplishing the project objectives. There is a range of methods the project manager can use to influence the project team. It is, therefore, essential that the project leader understands the characteristics and features of ‘power to influence’ and is able to manage the process.

This chapter will outline the six main areas of leadership power: legitimate, coercive, reward, expert, referent and communication.

The project leader’s challenge is to identify the best mix of power to influence methods that are appropriate for the situation (the team members and the project).

1. What is Power to Influence?

Leadership power refers to the ability the project leader has to influence the behavior of the team members and stakeholders so that they are willing to follow the leader. Leadership power to influence can be subdivided into six areas, as shown in Figure 7.1 and Table 7.1.

Figure 7.1: Leadership Power to Influence

Table 7.1: The Six Areas of Leadership Power ...

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