My time at Monster, a tech company west of Boston, has really caused me to take time and reflect on the role of power in leader/follower relationships. So far, I’ve had an incredible time integrating myself into my internship role, and a big part of that is the head of my org within the company- a guy named Matt. He’s an incredible leader in that he has an uncanny ability to motivate those around him to push fro progress within the company. Because he is so intelligent and innovative, he has worked his way into some powerful circles within the company that allow him to exert influence in ways that he would not be able to otherwise. When thinking about how he was able to accomplish this, Raven’s work on power and influence came to mind.
I have seen Matt’s effect on people; the way that he aligns you with his vision of a future and makes you believe that it is a future you would be wise to work toward allows him to exert a kind of independent influence that will have you fighting for that future even when he’s not alongside you. When it comes to me, this influence has come about in a number of ways. One being the fact that, as an intern, there is a defined legitimate power he has as my superior. There’s also, however, an expert power he has from extensive experience and education. These private-dependent forms of power have propelled him into a prominent leadership role. His ability to reduce a problem to its driving factors and come up with a solution based of of them is a form of informational power.
Matt is there person who is driving the projects I have been tasked with for the summer, and I think there is a lot to learn from him. In addition to the ways he utilizes these power dynamics for positive change in the company, he has excellent emotional intelligence that comes out in his interactions with his team and the C-level execs who we are doing work for. I’m excited for this summer and ready to continue my growth as a leader!