Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.
Celebrating 25 years in business! CPD Member - The CPD Certification Service ilm Recognised Provider

How can Leaders Create Referent Power?

How Can Leaders Create Referent Power?

How Can Leaders Create Referent Power?

Referent Power refers to leaders' ability to influence others, based upon the team's positive opinions of their leaders' character, competence and moral standing.

Leaders who want to build referent power should be:

  • Honest
  • Collaborative
  • Hard working
  • Decisive.
  • Have integrity.

Referent power is the product of leaders displaying a consistent pattern of high-quality behaviours and simultaneously avoiding bad behaviours.

Referent power leaders consciously aim to build a track record that engenders feelings of commitment.

When leaders succeed in gaining the respect and commitment of the team, then they have acquired referent power.

Good leaders cannot demand referent power, instead, they must earn it.

What specific behaviours are the most potent builders of Referent Power?

Leaders who want to build referent power should always strive to be:

Honest.

Honest in two ways:

  1. Honest in terms of their communication. The referent power leaders are "straight talkers". They do not prevaricate, equivocate nor distort the truth.
  2. Honest in terms of property. The leader is "straight" in all financial affairs.

Collaborative.

Collaborative means that leaders recognise the value of other people's skills, knowledge and experience, and they work hard to gain the willing cooperation of their colleagues. Referent power leaders influence people to act, rather than merely issue orders.

Hard working.

Referent power leaders are energetic and hard working. Their work is mostly cognitive, and comes in the form of handing information, communicating goals and plans, and making high value, accurate decisions.

Contrary to popular opinion, great leaders do NOT have to be "on the front line getting their hands dirty". (For example, Winston Churchill was not amongst the men who stormed the beaches of Normandy: he was in London, directing operations.)

Decisive.

The primary role of leadership is to make good decisions.

Referent power leaders are decisive.

They do not dither.

They do not make bad decisions.

Referent power leaders make quick, rational decisions which are based upon a logical evaluation of all the available evidence.

Integrity.

Integrity means: There is no contradiction between a person's speech and action:

Referent power leaders have integrity:

  • They DO what they SAY they will do.
  • They don't SAY one thing and then DO the opposite.

Leadership and Management Training

To learn more about referent power leadership, please attend our two-day Leadership and Management Course.

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Further Reading in Leadership and Management

  • How to Lead People Through Tough Times
    With all leaders having to face tough decisions in business, you must consistently lead and motivate your team. Discover how to effectively lead your team.
    Read Article >
  • Seven Ways to Improve Your Leadership Skills
    Leadership skills are important traits that can help you make progress in your career. Here are some soft skills you can learn, which will help develop your potential for success.
    Read Article >
  • Five Common Management Mistakes
    Many managers make mistakes in managing people. Perhaps they are poor at goal setting, or cannot delegate, or maybe lack sensitivity in dealing with others. Here are five common management mistakes which can be corrected with the right training.
    Read Article >
  • What New Team Leaders Should Do First
    Becoming a team leader-manager is not easy. Winning over a new team takes patience and skill. But by following a few basic tactics you should be on course to win-over your new team and accomplish success in your role.
    Read Article >
  • Who Are The Best Leaders In Business? (What Makes A Great Leader?) [Infographic]
    What Makes A Great Leader? Have you ever wanted to know why the best leaders in business are where they are? It's not a mistake, it's not luck. It's because they have the skills and traits to become great leaders. In this Infographic we have showcased who the best leaders are...
    Read Article >

Looking for Leadership and Management Training?

If you're looking to develop your Leadership and Management Skills, you may find this Leadership and Management Training Course beneficial:

Open Training Course Pricing and Availability

26 - 27 June
Manchester
£900 +VAT
Course Full
1 - 2 July
Southampton
£900 +VAT
1 - 2 July
Leeds City
£900 +VAT
8 - 9 July
Online - Teams
£900 +VAT
More dates and locations available
Save £100 on this course

Next Open Course Starts in 12 days, Southampton, places available Book Now >