Position power still plays a strong role in organizations. I hadnt thought about position power in awhile, but it is alive and well. Just recently, a quality supervisor asked to become a director in her company. Her stated reason was that, if she was a director, people would have to listen to her and do what she wants. This is a young supervisor, who is still learning how to accomplish work through other people, but her perception that a bigger title would solve her problems troubled me.
In another example, a new employee was asked to send out a note with a question and a deadline to the Director VP level managers in her organization. The request sparked an hour of work over a simple note because it was going to the biggest, most important people in the company.
The most important point is that position power exists. Use it to provide vision, mission, and direction. But, dont use position power to strike fear in the hearts and minds of employees. Every employee is equal in an organization; each person just has a different job and a different contribution to make. Treat every employee as your equal.