Authority and effective leaders: do they need it???
This week we had a very interesting discussion about the importance of authority in leader's role. Everyone had different opinions about it, some said that it was important in time of crisis or when everything else in the leader's toolkit failed, others argued that effective leaders do not need to resort to authority as they will always find a way to make things happen without an "executive order".
In my opinion, I believe that authority needs to exist but just as a word not an action, like a deterrent to maintain order and control and prevent unwanted behaviors. Otherwise there will be chaos everywhere, because no matter how excellent a leader you are, without authority there will be always someone that will not think like you and do things in his own way. So yes, I think authority is a bit important but not crucial while being a leader, people awareness of it will help leaders to influence people without the need of using it.
In the end, effective leaders have a plethora of tools and mechanism to impact in people's mind, positively and negatively (very sad!), and is up to them (us?) to take the best use of these resources leaving the need of authority for extreme and rare cases.