Difference Between Influence & Power

Influence vs Power

Power and influence are two distinct concepts that are often misunderstood as being the same. Both terms involve the ability to control others or to have them perform tasks as desired. However, there are significant differences between power and influence, and understanding these differences can help to clarify their meanings.

What is Influence?

Influence refers to the ability to impact an individual’s beliefs and actions. It is often associated with respect and admiration, and those who are influenced by someone tend to continue working in the desired manner even in the absence of the influential person. Influence is a highly desirable trait in a leader, as it allows them to guide and inspire others without relying on fear or authority. Examples of influential people include Mahatma Gandhi, who held no formal position or power but had a significant impact on millions of people due to his inspiring leadership.

Key Takeaways

  • Influence is the ability to impact an individual’s beliefs and actions, often through respect and admiration.
  • Power is the authority to get something done through an individual, often evoking fear.
  • While both power and influence can be used to control others, leaders should strive for a balance of both and use them appropriately and judiciously.

What is Power?

Power, on the other hand, involves the authority to get something done through an individual. It often evokes fear and is imposed from a higher position, such as a boss or manager. People may complete tasks as a result of power, but they typically do so out of fear or obligation rather than respect or admiration. This can lead to a decrease in the quality of work, particularly when the person wielding power is absent. Power can be derived from one’s position within a hierarchy, but it can also be a result of influence. It is important for leaders to understand the difference between power and influence and to use both judiciously and appropriately.

What is the Difference Between Influence and Power?

The main difference between influence and power involves the way they impact individuals. Influence is based on respect and admiration, while power is based on authority and fear. Children, for example, are often influenced by their parents and early teachers, but parents do not necessarily have power over their children.

Employees may initially feel the power of their boss and complete tasks out of fear, but as they come under the influence of the boss, their productivity may increase. Both power and influence can result in control over others, but it is crucial for leaders to have a balance of both and to use each effectively and responsibly.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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