October 20, 2020

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

Ralph Nyadzi

Ralph has a passion for the teaching and learning of Language and Literature mainly because these two help him to understand and appreciate why people act the way they do. Over the past two decades, he has coached over 5000 students and adult learners to achieve their educational goals. Ralph is the founder and CEO of Cegast Academy.

View all posts by Ralph Nyadzi →

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