Power vs Authority

Napoleon's Throne (cc) Greg Emel

Napoleon’s Throne (cc) Greg Emel

Max Weber distinguished between power and authority. Power derives from force or the threat of force. Authority is the likelihood that a command, once given, will be obeyed. Bashar al-Assad still has plenty of force. What seems apparent is that his authority throughout the country is declining daily.

Syria: The Battle for Aleppo Begins as Rebels Retreat (Juan Cole, Aug 8, 2012; accessed on Aug 9, 2012)

It appears that far too many accept the idea that power and authority are synonymous…Most simply, authority is a gift of trust and power is (a gift of) ability. How the two are obtained makes all the difference.

Power Vs. Authority (Matthew R. Lee, April 14, 2008; accessed on Aug 9, 2012)

Interesting to think about the difference between power and authority, especially as it pertains to leadership and what type of leader one wants to become.

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