Leadership, power and influence

What does it mean in today’s world?

 For centuries people have been fascinated by the part that power plays in the gaining and exercise of leadership.Power is an inevitable part of leadership and its use one of the skills a leader needs to acquire.

In today's world,however,notions of power have undoubtedly changed.While large areas of the world retain an authoritarian approach to power,in the Western world attitudes to authority have shifted. Leaders can no longer exercise power simply through position or expertise– inspiration, motivation and trust have to be achieved through a balance of authority and influence,with an increasing emphasis on influence.

Influence,of course, requires a very different set of skills to the normal management skills. We need the ability to build successful relationships and to deal in the world of emotions,our own and others’, and at times to have the courage to challenge established thinking in pursuit of a vision we believe in.This is not the realm of logic and rational thinking in which so many of us are schooled but of emotional intelligence.But where do we learn emotional intelligence?

At the same time, today's organisations are complex and challenging places in which to work.Leaders need to operate in an environment of uncertainty and ambiguity in which many of the answers are unknown. This takes confidence in yourself as a leader and the courage to back your own beliefs, again at times a lonely position. We may talk a great deal of team work and collective leadership but at the end of the day, accountability still rests with the boss.So again, how do we gain the courage and confidence that gives us that personal power?

The Advanced Personal Leadership Programme at Henley Business School aims to address these crucial issues of today's world.Given that these are all skills and behaviours that can only come from within this is deliberately not a lecture-driven programme. It is totally experiential and delegates learn by ‘doing’leadership rather than talking about it and through a process of intense feedback and coaching.

Its uniqueness lies in the depth of personal exploration that takes place and for many the programme is life changing.


Kate Hudson

Programme Director, The Henley Advanced Personal Leadership Programme

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For more information please contact the Open Programmes Team by email at exec@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0) 1491 418767.