One type of person who has power over others, in the sense that the person is able to influence them, is leaders. Leaders are in a position in which they can exert leadership, which is the ability to direct or inspire others to achieve goals (Chemers, 2001; Hogg, 2010). Leaders have many different influence techniques at their disposal: In some cases they may give commands and enforce them with reward or coercive power, resulting in public compliance with the commands. In other cases they may rely on well-reasoned technical arguments or inspirational appeals, making use of legitimate, referent, or expert power, with the goal of creating private acceptance and leading their followers to achieve. Leadership is a classic example of the combined effects of the person and the social situation.
Let’s consider first the person part of the equation and then turn to consider how the person and the social situation work together to create effective leadership.