Distinguish Between Power, Authority and Leadership

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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 spends his day working as an online entrepreneur and e-learning strategist. He is a freelance writer, website designer and WordPress trainer. Ralph is the CEO of RN Digital Media Ent, a digital publishing and content marketing company he founded in 2017. He blogs on CegastAcademy.com and BloggingtotheMax.com.

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