Authority & Leadership

According to Savage & Savage (2010), there are five places from which authority and power can be derived.  Where a person derives their power implies what type of leader they will become.  Being a leader does not make a person great, rather, the type of leader they are defines their greatness.  The five derivations of power and authority determine what type of a leader a person will become.
  • Legitimate power and authority
  • Reward power and authority
  • Coercive power and authority
  • Expert power and authority
  • Referent power and authority

Please see the following organizer for a description of each as well to understand how each type of power applies to teachers as according to Savage & Savage (2010).


Savage & Savage (2010) suggest that, "...developing productive leadership in the classroom is based on the establishment of expert and referent authority" (p. 31).  As a future teacher, I plan to establish wise and productive leadership by focusing my derivation of power on referent and expert power and authority. Practical examples of what I will do to establish referent and expert authority include doing the following:
  •  Always being prepared for class
  • Demonstrating good teaching skills
  • Being sensitive toward student needs, and
  • Treating students with respect (Savage & Savage, 2010).

Proverbs 11:14a states that "Without wise leadership, a nation falls."  The same can be applied for the classroom.  The key to the success of a class is the leadership the class is underneath.  Without the wise leadership of a teacher, the class will not succeed.