Difference Between Leadership and Power
Although, both concepts have something in common; influence other people, the differences between one and the other are abysmal and not necessarily because one fulfills an antagonistic role.
Some say that power is a bad thing and the truth is that it is not, unless it is used in a bad way. Power, as such, is a valuable resource that can be conferred on a person, either because of their experience, background or knowledge in a specific matter and, therefore, this responsibility is designated in it.
power in political elections
When a person performs the act of suffrage, he confers power to another, because he considers that he is the person who best represents his vision of development, progress and values. But, also, because he assumes that he is the one who will best manage that power and get the most out of it.
The recipient of this power carries with it a responsibility and expectations. Two attributions that were conferred on him by people who believed in his campaign image and now he has to demonstrate with actions what he is capable of doing and whether or not he disappoints his supporters.
Leadership happens after action
Leadership, on the other hand, is a battle that must first be won, so that the trust of others is transferred to you. It is through actions that a leader validates his ability to influence other people and who, after having seen his performance, will naturally recognize him as a leader.
“Mrs. Maria has leadership skills!”
Following the same example, but on a smaller scale, it is common in a meeting of school parents for the teacher to ask to form a directory of parents to lead some plan; organize the degree, student day, etc. At that moment the question arises “who could be president?”, to which some will respond, “well, I think it could be Mrs. María”, and perhaps they do not know her very well, but they have seen in her, in her actions , their interventions and way of communicating, a valuable resource that meets the characteristics to direct and coordinate a process. They recognize her as a leader, because she is what she transmits.
Leadership carries with it power, but with less uncertainty than when a person occupies a position of power and it is not known with certainty what the criteria were for designating that role.
Power by itself is a resource, a position that cannot necessarily be occupied by someone with leadership skills, that is where the main difference lies.
Finally, both can be equated if there is the will on the part of those who have power, to acquire the capacity to lead and that requires not only reinventing themselves based on their own assessments, but also seeking external opinions that provide feedback and make them improve.
In short, we could say that leadership implies power, but power does not necessarily imply leadership.