Influence and Power Discussions

Reading Time approx: 4 minutes

Follow links and review both the Times 100 Most Influential List & the Forbes World’s 75 Most Power People list online.

(since these lists are usually published each year after our due date, we will work with 2018’s lists)

 3. Respond to the Questions & Required Content below in a document in the Assignments tab





Legitimate Power

“The lawful right to make a decision and expect compliance is called legitimate power. People at the highest levels in the organization have more power than do people below them.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, represents “legitimate power” as much as anyone in the world.  As the duly elected Prime Minister of India, a country that has a population of over 1.3 billion people, Prime Minister Modi possesses the backing of the will of the people of India, and his position of service and authority imbue enormous legitimacy to himself and the office that he holds.

Reward Power

“The authority to give employees rewards for compliance is reward power.”

General Charles Q. Brown Jr. was profiled in the Time 100 List by Heather Wilson.  Ms. Wilson herself is the current President of the University of Texas at El Paso and a former Secretary of the Air Force.  The homage to General Brown contains the following passage:

“CQ has opened doors throughout his career and made sure that they have stayed open for those who follow.” [1]

His profile stresses his commitment to rewarding those who are deserving and who have earned rewards for their work.  General Brown (CQ – from the Charles Q. portion of his name) is seemingly the best example of a strong, powerful leader who is willing to reward his subordinates.

Coercive Power

“Coercive power is the power to punish for noncompliance; it is based on fear.”

“Xi Jinping of China has so many titles — more than a dozen and counting — that he has been called “chairman of everything.”” [2] 

When observing China’s Xi Jinping, by reading news articles and stories about his political activity in China, it is factual that Xi Jinping uses hardline tactics and strategies, including speech suppression, surveillance methods, and violence, to ensure that the citizens of China follow the dictates of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  Though there are certainly numerous beneficial elements to the operations of the Chinese government, it is known throughout the World that Chinese authorities are sometimes draconian in their methodologies.

Power Stemming from Ownership

“Executive leaders accrue power in their capacity as agents acting on behalf of shareholders. The strength of ownership power depends on how closely the leader is linked to shareholders and board members. A leader’s ownership power is also associated with how much money he or she has invested in the firm.”

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, as one of the titans of Silicon Valley, oversees an organization that employs almost 60,000 persons, many of whom are highly technically-skilled binary engineers.  The teams that work at the technical levels of Facebook’s operations are well aware of many of CEO Zuckerberg’s technical skill levels, organizational political abilities, vast wealth, and commitment to serving the over 2.7 billion monthly users that Facebook has accumulated. [3]

At virtually every level of the Facebook organization, Mr. Zuckerberg has established “power”, and possibly his greatest representative power is the almost irreplaceable value that he brings through his service to the user of Facebook.

Power Stemming from Dependencies

“According to the dependence perspective, people accrue power when others are dependent on them for things of value.”

Once again, Mark Zuckerberg is an individual whose name often arises when power sources are discussed.  The enormously valuable social media aspects of Facebook’s operations, augmented by the opportunities for advertisers and businesses to reach their markets, place Mr. Zuckerberg squarely in the middle of the category of persons who have acquired power by first supplying a vast market with communication products of great value, and then who have continued to supply those media products, that so many in both the general population and the business communities rely on.

Power Derived from Capitalizing on Opportunity

“Power can be derived from being in the right place at the right time and taking the appropriate action. It pays to be where the action is.”

Ma Huateng is the Chairman and CEO of Tencent Holdings; one of the largest companies in China, and, depending on stock price fluctuations, more often than not, one of the Top 10 largest conglomerates in the World.  Just as certain American binary engineering innovators and entrepreneurs created vastly wealthy companies in the West, Mr. Huateng “struck while the iron was hot” in China, in the late 1990s, and co-founded Tencent.  To wit, “Tencent returned more than 67,000 percent from its initial public offering through January…” [4]

Power Stemming from Managing Critical Problems

“The strategic contingency theory of power suggests that units best able to cope with the firm’s critical problems and uncertainties acquire relatively large amounts of power.”

John L Flannery is the current CEO of General Electric.  In 2017, he took over at the helm of this iconic American company, which had “posted an operating loss of $8.54 billion in 2017, on sales of $122.1 billion.” [5]

General Electric had once been the most recognized company in the United States, and a member of the DOW Stock Exchange Index.  Problems and uncertainties beset GE from all sides, and CEO Flannery has gained more and more power and prestige, as he continues to guide GE out of the worst of its problems.  GE is still not the juggernaut that it used to be when Jack Welch was its Chairman and CEO, but Mr. Flannery nonetheless has shown enormous fortitude in his efforts to guide GE to great successes.


Power Stemming from Being Close to Power

“The closer a person is to power, the greater the power he or she exerts. Likewise, the higher a unit reports in a firm’s hierarchy, the more power it possesses.”

Under the “ICONS” segment of the TIME 100 List, is listed the trio of persons, the Black Lives Matter Founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi.  This trio has derived power mostly from their proximity to other powerful leadership figures within the Civil Rights and social justice movements.  Spanning a demographic spectrum of activist organizations and individuals, the methodology of the BLM Founders relies on the cooperation of other highly powerful leaders throughout the United States and the World.  Hence, their power derives in large part from their proximity to other powerful entities.




[1] Wilson, Heather.  (Sep. 22, 2020).  TIME  Retrieved from 

[2] Hernandez, Javier C.  (Oct. 25, 2017).  The New York Times.  Retrieved from 

[3] Tankovsta, H.  (Feb 2, 2021).  Statista.   Retrieved from 

[4] Nishizawa, Kana & Horta e Costa, Sofia.  (Oct. 10, 2018).  Yahoo!finance . Retrieved from 

[5]  (2020).  Forbes  Retrieved from 



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Written by Cipher-This

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