Expert Power in Leadership: Types & How to Develop it? | Billbooks (2023)

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“Leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.”- John Maxwell

Have you ever heard about the ‘ten-thousand-hour-rule’?

The term was coined by psychologist Malcolm Gladwell. His theory and research stated that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice makes a person expert. Be tech-entrepreneur Bill Gates or musical greats The Beatles!

But many times, at the professional level, we consider a person as an ‘expert’ even though he/she does not have at least ten years of experience. That is perceived expertise or expert power to be precise!

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Power is a terrific characteristic property that can make a business professional a true leader. It is all about how you execute them!

So, before we start let’s discuss what exactly expert power is!

What is Expert Power?

Expert power is an innate quality of a business professional which is perceived by others, may it be his/her colleagues, seniors, or subordinates. A high-level knowledge base and expertise or skill in a particular area as demonstrated by the individual makes him/her gain more power or influence in the workplace.

A powerful person may not necessarily be a source of expert power. But a professional with expert power can be one of the most powerful people in an organization.

How? Let’s discuss this with an expert power example!

An app designer in an IT firm would probably be a more influential person due to his/her expertise in that particular area. As a result, the employee’s power will eventually rise, and his/her advice on the concerned area would be considered as a valuable suggestion.

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The scenario can be slightly different in the medical sector. Two or more surgeons with general skills might be present in a hospital. One may be an expert in particular surgery, which would make him/her an expert surgeon. This would result in a power shift, which is a per-basis type based on expert knowledge.

Power is a mercurial parameter in business. But it is also one such ability that makes one a true leader.

Let’s have a quick insight into the various powers related to leadership!

6 types of power in leadership

  • Legitimate Power: This power comes from a position in a company, role, or even from a job title. This helps in aligning the business policies, agendas, or framing strategies and also in executing them. Legitimate power is an act of sheer balance between formulating the ideas and circulating those in the system.
  • Expert Power: This is the most respectable power and a professional with such an enduring quality is a great problem-solver. They can assess themselves and know actually what they are doing. Besides, their expertise and experience in the concerned area assist them in taking the right decision when required.
  • Reward Power: It is one of the most influential powers as a professional with such power is capable of rewarding the employees for their performance. Aligning the incentive or giving a token of appreciation to the one who deserves it on the basis of performance is a vital leadership quality that helps in building a strong team.
  • Referent Power: Power in the business or organizational level brings more respect and eventually a lot more power. Referent power is one of the most important aspects at a professional level. An individual with incredible personality traits, interpersonal skills, and integrity can influence another person for the sake of business productivity. This is a significant skill that helps things be done in a smoother way and creates numerous followers in the professional world.
  • Information Power: Fact-based decision is quite an essential factor for leadership quality. Analytically strong people can influence through factual data which is often considered crucial from a business growth point of view.
  • Coercive Power: Just the way too little use of power can make one insignificant, overuse can be pretty intimidating among the employees. Coercive Power is one such power where one influences others by threats or coercion. This is the negative use of power that can bring down one from a leader to the ugly head of an organization.
So the above details make it pretty clear that among all expert power is one of the most respected and valued qualities. Let’s see how it is advantageous for business!

Perks of expert power

Expert power itself is a great ability that makes an individual strong and powerful in an organization through his/her vast knowledge base or experience. But there some more benefits as well and those are:

  • Simplifies business decisions: Expert power brings in the capability of taking prompt and rightful decisions on your area of expertise. The more you focus on it, the better you understand and more confident you become in taking justified decisions. It also improves the efficiency and speed of completing a task.
  • Career advancement: The more you spend hours grooming yourself in a particular area you naturally develop expert qualities in that field. Eventually, you gain the momentum to speed up your career development with improved skills and a better knowledge base that brings forth promotion and even financial stability.
  • Extend leadership qualities: Apart from gaining confidence and enhancing career growth, expert power is also beneficial in developing leadership skills. This is what leads you to become a good leader and helps in better team management.
Skills can be honed and groomed overtime to bring out the best in you. Let’s discuss how you can do it for expert power!

How to develop it?

Being an expert does not always help in leading a group or a team. You need to develop your power for that. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Wilful utilization of skill: “Practice makes a man perfect.”- This is the ultimate secret to achieving expertise. You can imbibe the quality of expert power only through practice. Whether tactical skill or conceptual idea you need to work hard from the base level to get the real-world experience for establishing your position as an expert.
  • Work with leaders or mentors: Be a sponge when it comes to acquiring knowledge from your mentors or leaders. Discuss every bit of incident that’s occurring in your career and ask for expert tips to make the right decision and set off for a brighter future. Listen and observe closely what your mentors do or tell to become an effective leader like them.
  • Put forward your expertise: Do not hesitate to put up your expert skills. This lets others know what you are capable of. Also, be positive while accepting feedback for the betterment of your career development.
  • Never stop learning: Keep the hunger for learning alive in you. The expiry date of your expertise depends on how long you wish to be a student and soak up knowledge. Keep yourself updated with trends and be at par with the latest development.
  • Prove your credibility: To establish your credibility make sure you become reliable, besides being an expert. Otherwise, you will fail to have the perceived power from those around you.
  • Improve your efficacy and efficiency: To stand out from others in the competitive world make sure you work on 2e’s- efficiency and efficacy. And, to develop your E’ power try working in a fast-paced environment. This improves your decision-making skill and makes you strategic, calm, and composed even in critical situations.
  • Have flexibility: Be flexible enough to adapt to new ideas, technologies, and skills. Focus on enhancing your career growth by being humble, empathetic, and transparent in your judgments.
  • Develop solution-giving ability: Your aspiration to become a good leader starts with problem-solving abilities. This will again develop your expert power qualities as the feedback from your seniors on your solutions will help you improve a lot.

Key takeaways!

  • Learn more to be an expert and to also remain an expert.
  • Follow your mentor’s advice to achieve expert power quickly and effectively.
  • Promote your qualities to let others know about your capabilities.
  • Be confident to seem reliable and credible.
  • Understand what’s needed to give better solutions, make the right decision, lead a team efficiently and improve expert power.
  • Be flexible to receive feedback and to work under pressure to develop your expert abilities.

Wrapping up!

Whether aspiring business leaders or newbies in the corporate world, developing expert power would make you an eligible candidate for leading a great team. It will help in boosting your confidence and you will acquire professional skills of managing business decisions single-handedly without mistake.

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Expert Power in Leadership: Types & How to Develop it? | Billbooks? ›

Expert power involves having expertise in a specific area and confidently sharing your knowledge with others. When you exude confidence and use your specialized skills to help your team members, they'll trust you as a leader and come to you for decision making advice and guidance.

How do you develop expert power? ›

How to build your expert power
  1. Practice, practice, practice. They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert. ...
  2. Be a lifelong student. A true expert never stops learning. ...
  3. Be confident. ...
  4. Maintain your credibility. ...
  5. Stay cool under pressure. ...
  6. Share your knowledge. ...
  7. Display your expertise.
Jan 27, 2022

How does a leader use expert power? ›

Expert power involves having expertise in a specific area and confidently sharing your knowledge with others. When you exude confidence and use your specialized skills to help your team members, they'll trust you as a leader and come to you for decision making advice and guidance.

What is an example of expert power in leadership? ›

Expert power is the ability an employee has, regardless of seniority, to show expertise in a subject or situation. For example, if no one else in the department knows how to run a certain software program and a specific employee does, that employee has the expert power in that situation.

How do you develop power in leadership? ›

How to Leverage Power and Leadership Effectively
  1. Make relationships a priority. ...
  2. Don't overplay your personal agenda. ...
  3. Maximize your communication network. ...
  4. Be generous with information. ...
  5. Make the most of your position. ...
  6. Develop your brand of charisma. ...
  7. Be the expert. ...
  8. Tailor your power to reward others.

What is the step for developing expert system? ›

ES Development Stages
  • Identification.
  • Conceptualization.
  • Formalization.
  • Implementation.
  • Testing.

How are expert systems developed? ›

The strength of an ES derives from its knowledge base - an organized collection of facts and heuristics about the system's domain. An ES is built in a process known as knowledge engineering, during which knowledge about the domain is acquired from human experts and other sources by knowledge engineers.

What leadership style is best for an expert? ›

Engaged leadership style

With this approach, you mobilize people around a shared vision and influence their attention, thoughts, and actions. This leadership style works really well when you have an educated and highly skilled team which just needs to be put on the right track.

What are the benefits of expert power? ›

Benefits of Expert Power
  • Streamlined business decisions. ...
  • Opportunity for career advancement. ...
  • Developed leadership skills. ...
  • Deliberate practice. ...
  • Work with mentors and leaders. ...
  • Volunteer your expertise. ...
  • Never stop being a student in your industry. ...
  • Keep your credibility.
Sep 21, 2021

Which power is most effective in leadership? ›

Referent power

According to Nicole Lipkin, author of “What Keeps Leaders Up At Night,” this is the type of power that gives a leader the greatest influence. Leaders get referent power through qualities that inspire trust and respect in their colleagues. These include honesty and integrity.

What is expert power in simple terms? ›

Expert power is the ability to influence others because of one's superior knowledge or skill in a particular area. It's a type of power that can be extremely beneficial for both individuals and organizations.

What are the four domains of leadership development? ›

As introduced above, we view the key elements of leadership development and practice to include analytical, conceptual, emotional, and spiritual (ACES) domains.

Which of the following is an expert power? ›

Which of the following is expert power? Leader can reward staff who comply with instructions. Leader can exercise power as a result of their position in the organisation. Leader has power because subordinates trust him/her.

What are the 7 source of power in leadership? ›

There are many sources of power in leadership such as position, personal attributes, knowledge, and expertise. There are also many categories and types of power. Some of these include formal power, position power, legitimate power, reward power, coercive power, expert power, and personal power.

How do you see power in leadership? ›

Leadership Power. Power is the ability to influence the behavior of others with or without resistance by using a variety of tactics to push or prompt action. Power is the ability to get things done. People with power are able to influence others behavior to achieve a goal or objective.

What are the 6 points of leadership power? ›

French and Raven's Forms of Power describes six sources of leadership power: Coercive, Reward, Legitimate, Expert, Referent and Informational. Each form of power, when used to influence someone, has a different impact on relationships and outcomes, some better than others.

What are the 4 components of expert system? ›

An expert system has five basic components: knowledge base, inference engine, explanation component, user interface, and acquisition component.

What are the 5 expert systems? ›

There are five primary types of expert systems: rule-based expert systems, frame-based expert systems, fuzzy expert systems, neural expert systems, and neuro-fuzzy expert systems.

What is an example of expert system development? ›

Expert systems that are in use include the following examples: CaDet (Cancer Decision Support Tool) is used to identify cancer in its earliest stages. DENDRAL helps chemists identify unknown organic molecules. DXplain is a clinical support system that diagnoses various diseases.

What are 3 of the elements that make up an expert system? ›

An expert system is typically composed of at least three primary components. These are the inference engine, the knowledge base, and the User interface.

Why do we develop expert system? ›

Expert Systems are often used to help non-experts when a human expert is too expensive, the results too slow if use a human(s), error rate too high with a human(s), unintentional human bias, or it is difficult for a person to reach the location.

What are the qualities of an expert leader? ›

An Expert Leader is first and foremost someone who has deep expertise in the area that they are leading. If they are leading a team, they should be deeply knowledgeable about the work this team and the team members do. One example could be leaders in HR or Finance of an organization.

What is the difference between an expert and a leader? ›

Lupfer says while the roles of leaders and experts are not necessarily mutually exclusive, the roles call for differences in skills and temperament. The expert concentrates his or her efforts, while the leader is constantly balancing different demands.

What is the expertise of leadership? ›

Valuable leadership skills include the ability to delegate, inspire and communicate effectively. Other leadership traits include honesty, confidence, commitment and creativity. In IT, executives are often required to be jacks-of-all-trades.

What are the bases of expert power? ›

Expert power is based on what the leader knows, the experience that they have, or their special skills. If your leader has a strong knowledge and/or experience base on which they can draw to perform their role, then they will have expert power.

What is the consequence in expert power? ›

A significant disadvantage to expert power is that if the expert's knowledge is shared, his power will probably diminish over time; however, if the expert does not share his knowledge, then the organization will not be as effective.

Is expert power the same as authority? ›

While power is the control or authority someone has over others, expert power is based on the perceived notion that a person in an organization has knowledge or skill sets that are superior to others.

What is the number one rule of leadership? ›

“First rule of leadership: everything is your fault.” Hopper, A Bugs Life.

What are the 5 sources of power in leadership? ›

The five sources of power and influence are: reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, expert power and referent power.

What are the three most effective leadership styles? ›

And each successful leader develops a style based on their own personality, goals, and business culture based on one of these three leadership styles: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire.

What are some examples of people who have expert power? ›

An expert power example can be someone in the team who is the only person around to understand a particular language, write code in a particular computer programming language, or has first-hand experience of field or market conditions.

What is expert power example scenarios? ›

Expert power examples in a team

If only one person has a specific skill necessary for the team's operations, they have the expert power. For example, if only one person can speak German on a team, this team member may use their skill to communicate with German clients or vendors.

How do you differentiate expert power and position power? ›

Depending on the type of positional power you hold, you may have both coercive and reward power along with your legitimate power. However, positional power doesn't automatically grant you expert power or referent power. Expert power instead comes from your personal experience or knowledge.

What are the 3 E's of leadership development? ›

They say, "Watch one, do one, teach one." You have to be very intentional in how you're training them and equipping them. Then the third E is exposure. How do I expose them? Now this is the inspirational side of developing leaders.

What are the 5 phases of leadership development? ›

Organized around five stages of leadership – establishing trust, cultivating leaders, discerning vision, implementing plans and transitioning out – this book offers an overview of the leadership life cycle from a distinctively Christian perspective.

What are the expert power influence tactics? ›

The 9 influence tactics are legitimacy, rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, consultation, exchange, personal appeals, ingratiation, pressure and coalitions.

What is the nature of expert power? ›

Expert power refers to the power acquired by one's unique skills and abilities. An individual with expert power is assumed to have a higher level of knowledge and experience and so, has greater influence over others.

What is better expert power and referent power? ›

Legitimate: Power is rooted in a person's formal rank or position. Expert: Power is rooted in the person's knowledge and experience. Referent: Power is rooted in trust, respect, and admiration.

What are the 3 main sources of power? ›

The three major categories of energy for electricity generation are fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum), nuclear energy, and renewable energy sources.

What are the five elements of power? ›

This power source has five elements that form the mnemonic RADIO: retrieval, access, dissemination, interpretation, and organization.

What are the 6 C's of leadership? ›

In this book, Nelson introduces the six “C's” of leading teams to commitment and buy-in: culture, communication, consistency, collaboration, connection, and the culminating “C,” commitment.

What are the 5 principles of effective leadership? ›

The authors discovered that when leaders experience their personal best, they display five core practices: they Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart.

What are the four 4 main features of good leadership? ›

What is a Successful Leader?
  • Possess Self-awareness. One of the most important qualities of a good leader is self-awareness. ...
  • Garner Credibility. ...
  • Focus on Relationship Building. ...
  • Have a Bias for Action. ...
  • Exhibit Humility. ...
  • Empower the Team. ...
  • Stay Authentic. ...
  • Present Yourself as Constant and Consistent.

What is main source of expert power? ›

Expert Power Derived from Possessing Knowledge

Expert power is derived from possessing knowledge or expertise in a particular area. Such people are highly valued by organizations for their problem solving skills. People who have expert power perform critical tasks and are therefore deemed indispensable.

What is expert power based and developed upon? ›

Expert power is power based upon the perceived superior knowledge or specialized skills of any member of an organization.

What is the basis of expert power? ›

Expert power is based on what the leader knows, the experience that they have, or their special skills. If your leader has a strong knowledge and/or experience base on which they can draw to perform their role, then they will have expert power.

What are the weaknesses of expert power? ›

The Disadvantages of Expert Power

If an expert's knowledge or skills start to become outdated, they may lose their expert power. Additionally, experts can also be wrong about things from time to time, which can lead to them being questioned and less trusted by their peers.

What makes someone an expert? ›

An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. Experts are called in for advice on their respective subject, but they do not always agree on the particulars of a field of study.

How can an employee increase his or her expert power base? ›

How can an employee increase his or her expert power base?
  1. Study and open up to learning. There's no way around it. ...
  2. Seek help when you need it. ...
  3. Promote your expertise tactfully. ...
  4. Be confident. ...
  5. Follow your industry closely.

Do leaders need to be experts? ›

Great leaders realize that their expertise is often irrelevant to their role as “leader.” They can build greater and more sustained success by getting more out of the expertise of others. So, they learn just enough to know how to do that.

What is expert power in conflict management? ›

Expert power has a longer life span. This power arises when a person has a particular expertise or skill that others may not have. This makes them valuable to the organization and to the team, as their expertise is in limited supply. This type of power is also generally considered to be positive.


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