Distinguish Between Power, Authority and Leadership

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Power, authority and leadership are three difficult-to-separate concepts in Government or Political Science.

This brief post is to give you a clear difference between power, authority and leadership.


Power refers to the ability to coerce or force someone to do something.


Authority refers to the right to exercise power.

Authority is the legal or moral right to control, rule or exercise power over a group.

Legitimate authority is, therefore, the authority that has a legal or moral basis. Legitimate authority is derived from the mandate of the followers.


Leadership refers to the act of guiding or influencing a group of people to cooperate toward the achievement of a goal or goals.

A leader is, therefore, someone who has the power and authority to guide or influence others toward the achievement of a goal.

Through the exercise of power and authority, a leader influences and provides direction for the group he/she is leading.



Featured Photo by Zac Nielson on Unsplash

About Ralph Nyadzi

Ralph is a professional blogger, founder and CEO of RN Digital Media Ent. He spends his day working as an online entrepreneur, e-learning strategist and a test prep coach. If you can't locate him anywhere online doing what he knows how to do best, then check him out on his farm or in the kitchen. He lives in the Central Region of his native country, Ghana.

View all posts by Ralph Nyadzi →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.