Behind every nonprofit organization is a leader with a transformational vision. Leaders such as Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Code, Juliana Rotich of Ushahidi, Rachel Wurzman and Jennifer Nicolaisen of SeekHealing or Paula Froehle and Steve Cohen of Chicago Media Project.
Their organizations inspire and educate young women with computing skills to pursue better opportunities, serve those at risk of heroin and opioid overdose and provide long-term support as they transition back into society and so much more.
As individuals, they possess certain leadership powers:
1. Reward Power is the ability to recognize a job completed or a desirable behavior with motivators such as a raise, promotion, extra days off, and even psychological awards like approval or recognition.
2. Coercive power is the authority to distribute de-motivators or punishments such as demotion, dismissal, or psychological impacts such as avoidance or disapproval.
3. Legitimate power is also known as official power. This occurs when the leader’s authority is understood and accepted as necessary to maintain order in the workplace. Prime examples of individuals with these kinds of power are parents, teachers and the police.
4. Referent power comes from a gathering of those who respect a person and choose to follow them based on trust. Cause leaders usually embody this type of power.
5. Information power comes from the ability to limit others’ access. It’s a power that can be used to manipulate other people’s opinions to ensure agreement. It is also a means of measuring tasks, strategies and processes.
6. Expert power comes from skills, knowledge and experience and is respected because it can often inspire and help others meet their goals. Individuals who are experts in their field can drive an organization toward great opportunities.
There is a seventh power, which also creates excellent results in the workplace–the Kindness Power.
The Kindness Power benefits everyone by helping improve workplace relationships regardless of industry, age or gender. It promotes a sense of self-affirmation that builds individuals’ self-esteem and creates stronger interconnections. A leader’s kindness correlates to job satisfaction and a greater willingness to go beyond what is expected.
A Stanford study found that kindness is highly contagious in the workplace and attracts other likely candidates to join the company. Another study, Emotion, found that kindness had a positive ripple effect. In a study by Joseph Chancellor et al., researchers found that those treated kindly at work were 278 percent more generous with workmates. It also increased their health, well-being and expanded their positive perspectives.
Acts of kindness in the workplace have tremendous power that affects both the receiver and the giver.
By Jackie Sue Griffin, MBA, MS