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What Type of Authority Do You Possess?

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

If you think about the most important people in your life, or the person who had the most influence on you, my guess is they were not your direct boss or manager.

Andy Stanley says that when we think about authority and influence there are two distinct variations. The first type is positional authority. This is a person who has direct control over you. Usually they are your manger, your leader, or your boss. The second type of authority is moral authority. This type of authority comes from someone you look up to. Someone you don’t necessarily work for, but someone you respect and want to emulate. A person whose actions and opinion you take to heart.

The challenge we have as leaders is that we want to have positional authority. We think that without the position, we won’t have influence or that we are not a true leader. This is not the case! And I’m sure that hit you when you answered the question in the opening paragraph.

A true leader is someone who leads from a moral position. Someone whose actions speak louder than their words. This person may not have positional authority but because of how they act, live, and treat people around them, they make you want to be like them. And in a lot of cases, these are the people you seek guidance from.

Next time you start to worry about why people are not listening to you or treating you as a leader think about if you are leading from a place of positional authority or moral authority. I think this will help you find why you are not the leader you thought you were.

Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.


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