4 Jul 2022


The Concept of Influence

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Academic level: University

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Introduction to the Concept of Influence 

Influence is a very significant business aspect especially for a leader or rather an employer. In its context, influence refers to the force that is caused by a particular individual on another to bring about change. Thus change can either be for the better or worse in accordance with the context of the situation. Following this, it should be realized that influence is a central part of leadership: in other words, without influence, there is no leadership. A leader needs to be a person who other people can look up to. He or she needs to be a role model figure for the people he has been put in charge of to ensure that the best kind of work environment is created. However, to be able to demonstrate this kind of leadership attribute successfully comes with a lot of sacrifice concerning one’s social life and the upholding of ethical standards. 

Contemporary Leadership 

Contemporary leadership refers to the type of organizational leadership that is dynamic in nature, and it involves a particular leader and other collaborators working together for a common goal through motivation. This type of leadership is primarily influenced by three distinguishing aspects: relationship, mutual dependence, and collaboration. In its application, contemporary leadership is entirely transformational and involves information exchange between the leader and their subjects. Moreover, the leader, in this case, should practice servant leadership in which they always lead by example. It is also a leadership that is guided by strategies that are created from within. 

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Types of Contemporary Leadership Styles 

Autocratic leadership 

In this type of leadership, the leader takes full control of business activities (Cherry, 2016a). They make decisions on behalf of the entire organization without taking into account the perspectives of other involved parties. A leader of this caliber barely listens to what others have to say and makes decisions based on their ideologies, thoughts, and experience. 


One of the primary benefits of this leadership strategy is that decisions that require being made quickly are not delayed (Cherry, 2016a). In some cases, a leader might be faced with the challenge of making a decision abruptly, and they have to make it at any cost. This strategy proves effective in such instances as they do not have to waste time convening a meeting or consulting with other individuals. Again, it is also a good strategy to use especially when a particular business is having stressing periods or when there is a conflict (Cherry, 2016a). An autocratic leader, in this case, can make all the decisions thus relieving other members from decision making and directing their focus to other activities. 


Though having its ups, autocratic leadership is seen to be a leadership strategy that can cause more harm than good on a long term. First and foremost, an autocratic leader is considered dictatorial and authoritative by their subjects (Cherry, 2016a). As a result, the people under the respective person’s leadership could resent them. Moreover, the rest of the members feel like they are not appreciated and recognized as a significant part of the organization. This could have an effect on their performance and productivity. 

Democratic Leadership 

Democratic leadership is obtained from the term ‘democracy’ which advocates for a rule of the people, by the people, for the people. In this kind of leadership strategy, the majority always has the most influence in decisions made (Cherry, 2016a). Leaders do not make decisions on their own, and they respect the needs of the majority. 


The most significant strength of using this strategy is that it boosts the morale of members as they feel like an indispensable part of any organization (Cherry, 2016a). Self-actualization, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, is one of the essential needs that every human being has. It is also a great strategy because many ideas and solutions to problems are brought to the table. 


Despite it being the most preferred leadership strategy, democratic leadership also has its merit. The most prevalent one is that it could result in communication failures especially in cases where the duties of involved parties are not clearly spelled out (Cherry, 2016a). The result of this could be pending projects. Again, the members involved in decision making could lack the necessary knowledge required and could thus be of little or no help in the entire process (Cherry, 2016a). 

Laissez-Faire Leadership 

In this type of leadership strategy, leaders pass on decision making responsibilities to other individuals (Cherry, 2016b). It is also referred to as delegative, given that the leader distributes decision-making roles to those in charge without being entirely involved. It is largely associated with low productivity. 


It is a very viable and effective strategy in cases where the people charged with decision making are knowledgeable, motivated, and as well highly skilled (Cherry, 2016b). Due to their expertise, skill, and experience, leadership intervention is not necessarily required as they can work on their own. Moreover, it makes the leader direct his or a focus to other productive activities as most of his work is done by these individuals (Cherry, 2016b). 


If this leadership style is used in a low-skill work environment, the results are going to be quite low due to degraded productivity (Cherry, 2016b). This is because most of the individuals lack time discipline, are poor managers, and cannot work without supervision or provision of direction. This can result in failed projects, unmet deadlines, and a least motivated workforce. 

Types of Influence Process 


Charisma refers to one’s ability to inspire others towards something. In leadership, charisma is the ability of a leader to influence their subjects towards realizing optimal productivity and remaining focused on the goals (Sarkissian, n.d.). For a leader to be described as charismatic, they need to be visionary and ambitious. They also need to learn how to address their employees and are should always be focussed on identifying developing employee needs and satisfying them 


Again a leader has to be legitimate in everything they do. They should not ask employees to engage in activities that are a violation of the law (Sarkissian, n.d.). Employees feel comfortable when working with a leader who delegates legitimate roles to them. Asking a person under one’s rule to do something against the law could lead to devaluation of a leader’s influence. 


This concept implies the appreciation of subjects for work well done or requests that have been attended to (Sarkissian, n.d.). A leader should have an understanding of the importance of being an appreciative person and the impact this has on employees. Any reward they choose should be something of greater value to the respective individual to ensure that it realizes the maximal impact. 


Significantly, a leader should be an expert in whatever field they are in (Sarkissian, n.d.). They should not just be people who give instructions and make decisions for or with people who are more skilled than they are. Their contribution should be felt all through. They should always have logical arguments and show skill plus knowledge especially when it comes to vital company decisions. 


Any successful leadership is built on connection and the establishment of right relationships. A leader has to have a network of people by their side whom they discuss and share ideas on how to develop one another (Sarkissian, n.d.). They should also have good relationships with their subjects and make sure to mend any that break along the way. 


This implies the distribution of power by leaders (Sarkissian, n.d.). A leader should not have all power and responsibilities bestowed upon them. They should also give a chance to those under their leadership to exercise power effectively and also become leaders. Through the empowering of others, a leader can create a ground for their influence as well as enhance productivity. 

Methodology of research conducted 

So as to be able to illustrate the various leadership styles and how each results in leadership influence, three top CEOs were analysed. This distinguished personnel are Jeff Bezos-the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jason Araghi-the CEO of Breen Bean Coffee, and Howard Schultz-the CEO and Chairman of Starbucks. The main purpose of the study was to determine the leadership strategies that each of this use and how effective it is in creating organizational influence. Information regarding their leadership styles was collected from online sources, mostly from interviews between them and the media, and from top analysts. 

Influence Used by the Leader 

Jeff Bezos 

Influence Used 

Being the Founder, Bezos built Amazon all the way from scratch to the mighty online franchise it is today. He uses a democratic type of leadership where he lets other people think about any new ideas that he might be having (Anders, 2012). He has a team of managers under him who are charged with offering an administrative role in the various departments of the organization. Other than being the Founder and CEO, Bezos is a very skilled individual in computer programming and software development. He is always directly involved in any matters to do with the development of the company’s online platform by bringing on his skills. 

Effects of Influence 

Having him directly involved in the company’s operations has resulted in a motivated workforce. The employees learn from his hard work and apply the same to their work ethic. They always present new ideas that they think would make Amazon better just like their leader does. 

Strengths and Weaknesses 

Bezos’s use of a democratic leadership has been quite profitable to the organization in that new ideas to improve the online operations as well as come up with solutions to counter their problems. This has been a great step in making Amazon relevant in the modern day world which is ever changing. The major weaknesses arising from this is the difficulty in coordinating the employees due to the democratic policy which has at times seen delays in operations; an aspect Bezos is very bitter about. 

Jason Araghi 

Influence Used 

Being the CEO of Green Bean Coffee, Araghi, much like Bezos has used a democratic type of leadership where decisions are made by consensus. He always involves his workers as well as a team of experts in making decisions with regard to business activities (Araghi, 2007). He is also quite knowledgeable when it comes to coffee brewing business. 

Effects of Influence 

Through his well-structured organizational practice, Araghi has been able to establish a motivated workforce that is dedicated to the delivery of results and is highly motivated to realize the company’s set goals. This has seen the growth of this franchise into one of the biggest coffee brands in the United States. 

Strengths and Weaknesses 

One of the major strengths of Araghi’s influence strategy is that workers realize their need for self-actualization over time and become more productive. They realize the dedication that the boss has to create a different environment for the coffee business and adorn the same strategy. However, coordination and management of employees and clients is also an issue. Important decisions have been delayed from time to time because of this democratic style of leadership. 

Howard Schultz 

Influence Used 

Just like the other two CEOs, Howard Schultz also works with democratic leadership style. Being the leader of Starbucks does not make him the overall decision maker for the organization. He always makes a decision through consultation and analysis of perceptions and not just his ideas. Moreover, Schultz always encourages workers to improve themselves individually and bring on to the team their skills to blend with those of the other people. Trust, honesty, commitment and respect are his top leadership attributes (Denning, 2016). 

Effects of influence 

As a result of this influence, Schultz has been able to create a workforce that is built on the same principles he believes in: trust, honesty, commitment, and respect. The workers are always aimed at achieving the set goals of the organization to ensure maximal productivity. 

Strengths and Weaknesses 

New ideas are always brought into organization that helps improve their services and operations. Workers can satisfy their need for self-actualization which consequently results in improved productivity. The result of this kind of influence is the satisfaction of the company’s clientele which in return sparks consumer loyalty. 

Processes used by the Leader 

Jeff Bezos makes use of charisma as his key strategy of influence. He is also a person who has expertise in his field. Moreover, he is a widely connected man having established relationships with other significant leaders in the technology industry. All power at Amazon is bestowed upon him as he has managers who work under him and have roles that are distributed by him. The result of this is that the workers or employees at Amazon have learned to have similar dedication to work and are as well highly motivated. 

Jason Araghi, on the other side, makes use of charisma. He always has a way of influencing individuals to adopt his working nature and as well consider purchasing from his company. He also rewards the best employees regarding how they responded to requests presented. This has resulted in a more productive workforce and a trusting clientele. 

Howard Schultz is driven primarily by charisma and legitimacy. His work ethic influences not only his employees but also the clients associated with Starbucks. His strict leadership that values trust, respect and honesty displays him as a legitimate leader, one who would never ask someone to do something that is a violation of the law. It is with this kind of influence that Howard Schultz has made Starbucks become one of the most ethical companies in the world. 


Jeff Bezos 

He is charismatic, focussed, and values other’s opinions as significantly as his own. He strongly values client satisfaction and ensures that it is the central focus of Amazon. Moreover, he is a visionary and is skilled in technology thus his vast influence in the field. The result of his style of leadership and influence has been the notable growth of Amazon over the years. Its client base keeps increasing as its revenues too. 

Jason Araghi 

Jason is a rather goal oriented individual who has put primary focus on growing his business. He values clients as the most important part of the organization. Moreover, his employees are always top of his priority list as he always needs them to be a representation of what the organization stands for. This kind of leadership style and influence has also consequently seen their organization develop from being a small-scale coffee retailer to one of the biggest brands in the U.S. 

Howard Schultz 

With a strong valuation of ethics, Schultz can be described as a straightforward individual who values law and thrives on bringing out trust, respect and honesty. He also holds high the ideas and notions of other people and ensures that they are considered in decision making. Schultz also observes how his employees to realize their needs and satisfy them. It is with this kind of leadership effectiveness that Schultz has managed to build Starbucks into one of the most respected business franchises in the world. Workers are motivated and show respect to one another and also to clients. 


A leader should, therefore, be a person of great influence to the people that are under their jurisdiction. As it has always been said, a leader should be a role model in everything they do. Leadership is always about more actions than words. Before one can instruct others to do, they should show them what they need to be done and how they want it done. This way, the people under them adopt their way of doing things, and this slowly develops into a firm’s culture. The results are increased productivity and employee motivation all which lead to the growth in revenues. 


Anders, G. (2012). Jeff Bezos reveals his no. 1 leadership secret. Forbes . Retrieved on 12 April 2017 from https://www.forbes.com/forbes/2012/0423/ceo-compensation-12-amazon-technology-jeff-bezos-gets-it.html. 

Araghi, J. (2007). How I did it: Jason Araghi, CEO, Green Beans Coffee . Retrieved on 12 April 2017 from https://www.inc.com/magazine/20070901/how-i-did-it-jason-araghi.html. 

Cherry, K. (2016). What is autocratic leadership? Very Well . Retrieved on 12 April 2017 from https://www.verywell.com/what-is-autocratic-leadership-2795314. 

Cherry, K. (2016a). What is democratic leadership? Very Well . Retrieved on 12 April 2017 from https://www.verywell.com/what-is-democratic-leadership-2795315. 

Cherry, K. (2016b). What is laissez-faire leadership? Very Well . Retrieved on 12 April 2017 from https://www.verywell.com/what-is-laissez-faire-leadership-2795316. 

Denning, S. (2016). A leadership lesson from Howard Schultz. Forbes . Retrieved on 12 April 2017 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2016/11/06/a-leadership-lesson-from-howard-schultz/#32a4b0417122. 

Sarkissian, A. (n.d.). Leadership & different types of influence processes. AZ Central . Retrieved on 12 April 2017 from http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/leadership-different-types-influence-processes-16838.html. 

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