Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Bases and Contingencies of Palin Power

Three-Dimensional In-the-Box Model of Leadership courtesy of David Boje, Ph.D.

In Where Gov. Palin Leads We Shall Follow, I analyzed two paths the former Alaska Governor could take based on her Transformational and Servant Leadership characteristics. Bases of power and the contingencies that limit its extent build upon her leadership style. By understanding a specific power base Gov. Palin has been operating from since July 26, 2009, her statement that "you don't need a title to make a difference," in conjunction with her 2012 decision will immediately make perfect sense.

Five Bases of Power

Steve L. McShane and Mary Ann Von Glinow who co-authored Organizational Behavior held that for power to exist, a person or group must be dependent on another person or group for something of value. The authors went on to describe the five power bases identified by John French and Bertrand Raven in 1959: legitimate, coercive, reward, expert, and referent. The four contingencies that determine the extent to which a given power base can be leveraged are: substitutability, centrality, discretion, and visibility.

Legitimate power is the power to influence others by position of formal authority or title. Each of the offices Sarah Palin held conferred a set of behaviors she could request of others and specific actions she had the authority to execute. President of the United States is the ultimate example of legitimate power, and is something Gov. Palin chose not to pursue at this time.

Reward and Coercive powers are straight-forward and most often spawn from legitimate power. Those who hold formal positions of power use both sticks and carrots to ensure compliance with their directives.

Expert power originates from within the person and is the ability to influence others by knowledge and skill sets they value. Gov. Palin is a subject matter expert on energy exploration, generation, transmission, and distribution, thus she has considerable expert power in this area.

Her Power is Referent...

ContentSarahPAC File Photo. Referent Power in Action: Gov. Palin is swarmed by supporters at the 2011 Iowa State Fair. It took her two hours to walk 100 yards, so everyone could have a special moment with her.

McShane and Von Glinow define Referent Power as "the capacity to influence others based on the identification and respect they have for the power holder." David A. Victor and Monica C. Turner who edited Leadership Style and Bases of Power wrote that a leader has referent power when supporters desire to identify with and emulate the leader. "In referent power, the manager leads by example. Referent power rests heavily on trust," Victor and Turner wrote. Both McShane and Von Glinow and Victor and Turner concurred that referent power is a function of inter-personal skills and develops very slowly.

"Referent power is usually associated with charismatic leadership. Charisma is often defined as a form of interpersonal attraction whereby followers develop a respect for and trust in the charismatic individual," McShane and Von Glinow wrote.

Gov. Palin's referent power is a direct result of her Transformational / Charismatic and Servant-Leadership styles. Remember Vince Lombardi? Gov. Palin's referent power is what engenders the remarkable responses to her leadership, the winning of hearts and getting those hearts to follow her anywhere.

From “In wanting to be like these people, we stand near them, hoping some of the charisma will rub off onto us” (emphasis mine). Gov. Palin’s referent power is at the root of why for instance it took her two hours to walk 100 yards at the 2011 Iowa State Fair. All present wanted to be with her and to touch her in some way, as is the case at all her events.

Of the five power bases, referent power is the one in which you truly "don't need a title to make a difference." Since she is an accomplished Charismatic / Transformational and Servant Leader, Gov. Palin wields considerable referent power and she has been using it since she left office in July 2009. This is evidenced in how she shaped the debate on ObamaCare, the BP gusher, Quantitative Easing, Libya, and other matters. Her 67% overall success rate in 2010 with candidate endorsements is a function of referent power, as is the 90% success rate with the "Take Back the 20" subset.

In Where Gov. Palin Leads, I wrote,

"She may not be President of the United States, and may not be running – in the conventional sense of the term – but she is our Private Citizen President. We look to her for leadership and inspiration. If we take her October 5 announcement in isolation and at face value, Gov. Palin remains our Private Citizen President. Nothing has changed."
That is what referent power is all about. Gov. Palin does not merely have the potential to make a difference sans a formal title. She has already been doing it for over two years and continues to do so.

File Photo by Ron Devito. More Referent Power in Action: Following her speech in Indianola, Iowa, Gov. Palin gives and receives a half-hug with one supporter while holding the hand of another. Referent power generates the desire to stand next to, and have some form of physical contact with the leader. Gov. Palin's supporters travel thousands of miles, spend thousands of dollars, and wait many hours to have their special moments with her. At this rally, Gov. Palin spent more time with her supporters than on her speech, walking the rope line twice - something no one in recent history has ever done.

Contingencies Limit The Extent of Power

Contingencies limit the extent to which power bases can be used. Substitutability refers to the availability of alternatives. Gov. Palin wields considerable power, because she is not substitutable. I have written innumerable times that she is a once-in-a-lifetime leader and I have expressed my utter disdain for the entire field of declared 2012 candidates.

This refers to her non-substitutability, however, Gov. Palin by once being a 2012 hopeful and choosing not to run, is not in a position to slam the entire field of candidates as being unsatisfactory. By staking that position, she would have to declare candidacy and seek the nomination. Gov. Palin said if she thought the field was unsatisfactory, she would run. Gov. Palin thus understands that slamming the entire field of candidates without running herself would be the pinnacle of absurdity. Her gracious statements toward these candidates do not alter the fact that there is only one Sarah Palin and there are no substitutes.

Centrality is the degree of inter-dependence between the power holder and others. Actions of a person with high centrality affect a great deal of people - sometimes at alarming speed. Centrality is associated with mission-critical jobs and jobs that involve significant responsibilities. Though she is a private citizen, Gov. Palin's referent power confers upon her a high degree of centrality and responsibility. Her words influence others to action. The leftists who tried to foist a blood libel ("inciting violence") upon her earlier this year knew this full well. A person wielding referent power at Gov. Palin's level could start a war. Witness William Randolph Hearst's "you provide the news and I'll provide the war." The Father of Yellow Journalism in fact used his referent power to start the Spanish-American War.

Discretion in the context of leadership theory is the freedom to make decisions and exercise judgment without permission from others and without referring to rulebooks. As a private citizen, Gov. Palin has nearly complete discretion or freedom - limited only by her own common-sense, experience, and professionalism.

When she spoke about the possibility of being shackled as a Presidential candidate with Greta Van Susteren, it was this lack of freedom to which she referred. As a candidate subject to the GOP establishment's rules, Gov. Palin's discretion would have been severely curtailed. This is true of all candidates, but Gov. Palin's track record for rooting out fraud and corruption in her own party put her in the establishment's cross hair. It was this contingency on pursuing legitimate power - POTUS - that at least in part may have driven her decision to not pursue it.

McShane and Von Glinow wrote, "Power does not flow to unknown people in the organization." Even those with legitimate power are effectively neutered by lack of visibility. It's easy to see why "unsung heroes" and "worker bees" have no power. Gov. Palin is an international household name, thus she is highly visible and this contingency is inoperative in her case.

Commanding Respect and Trust

By fully understanding Gov. Palin as a leader, her 2012 decision now makes complete and perfect sense. Being the perfect candidate for POTUS is necessary but insufficient for her leadership style. Lack of discretion/freedom is Kryptonite to any Transformational, Charismatic, and Servant Leader. Pursuing the legitimate power of POTUS most likely would have made the discretion contingency operative to the point of turning her campaign into a kamikaze mission for both herself and her supporters and ensuring an Obama victory.

Gov. Palin used her objective ego (a characteristic of Transformational and Servant Leadership). She did not lead us down a primrose path or blow smoke up our rear ends. Yes, we spent considerable time and treasure - of our own free will - over these past three years in the hopes that she would run. But, the voracious requirements of a Presidential campaign would have consumed the entire past three year's worth of time and treasure over again within a few short months. To knowingly have led us to certain failure would have been unconscionable. Yes, her decision was a heart-breaker for us, but running into certain failure would have been far worse. Broken hearts can be fixed (as long as they don't kill their owners), but broken trust cannot.

Gov. Palin most likely saw the severe contingency against pursuing the legitimate power of POTUS. She saw that she has considerable referent power - not needing a title to make a difference - with virtually no operative contingencies against it. Thus, Gov. Palin wisely chose to use and continue building her referent power instead.

Gov. Palin's decision commands even more respect, even more trust, and even more admiration among those who understand the principles of her leadership methods. The wisdom of her decision will become more apparent as both time and Gov. Palin march on.

Friday, October 21, 2011

American Crony Capitalism Brings Jobs to Finland

Governor Palin today posted on Facebook:

Yesterday, another shoe dropped in the chronicles of the Obama administration’s crony capitalism. A start-up electric car company with ties to Al Gore got a $529 million loan guarantee from Obama’s Department of Energy to build luxury electric Finland! Leaving aside the fact that to date only two of these $97,000 cars have been sold (one of them to a movie star), we might at least hope that this ridiculous exercise in the government picking winners minus any competitive, transparent process (Al Gore’s venture cap firm) and losers (the taxpayers subsidizing a car no one wants) would produce manufacturing jobs in the United States. Isn’t that the alleged purpose of Obama’s stimulus giveaways?

It’s bad enough that we borrow money from foreign countries to give to foreign countries. Now we borrow from foreign countries to finance jobs in foreign countries. (This kind of reminds me of the $2 billion assistance President Obama provided Brazil for their off-shore energy developments, while shutting down or blocking much of our own off-shore domestic drilling. He’s in favor of energy jobs in Brazil. But in America? Not so much.)

Do you think, as the President tours the country campaigning on the taxpayer’s dime, he understands that voters in Finland won’t get to decide whether or not he keeps his job in 2012, but voters in Michigan and Ohio sure will? In fact, I’m sure the millions of unemployed workers in every state will want to learn why the Obama administration gave half a billion dollars to finance “green” cars built in Finland.

While they’re at it, the geniuses in the White House could also explain the $1.2 billion they gave to SunPower, a company that makes Solyndra look like a blue chip stock. SunPower’s market capitalization is $800 million, but the company is in debt $820 million. What a great investment, huh? Your tax dollars at work, America! If President Obama wants answers about this, he better act fast because his Department of Energy was already caught revising history by scrubbing SunPower’s name out of old DOE press releases. The President should start by asking Democrat Congressman George Miller about the company. Rep. Miller was the leading advocate for giving money to SunPower, which hired his son as a lobbyist.

When President Obama signed his nearly trillion dollar stimulus boondoggle into law, he mortgaged our children’s future. And for what? Financing jobs in Finland? Propping up near bankrupt companies with connections to congressmen? For this we are burying ourselves in a mountain of debt?

This crony capitalism has to end. We don’t want it. We can’t afford it. And we must not tolerate it anymore. Wake up, America, before it’s too late.

- Sarah Palin


Retrieved from:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gov. Palin Discusses Gaddafi, 2012 Race on Hannity

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin tonight discussed the death of Libyan dictator Gaddafi and the 2012 presidential race on Sean Hannity's TV show from her home studio in Wasilla, Alaska. Gov. Palin said she is glad Gaddafi is gone, but emphasized the importance of ensuring worse, more tyrannical, terrorist regime does not take over. She also made note of the left's hypocrisy in praising Obama's Libya war while decrying President Reagan's airstrikes of 1986.

Shifting to 2012, Gov. Palin said she believed Herman Cain can keep his poll momentum going because he is not a politician, which is something people crave. "Herman Cain recognizes that it's the permanent political class that got us into this mess, and we don't need more of the same thinking that's going to be the solution," she said. While Gov. Palin praised Cain's authenticity, candor, and "getting the ball rolling on reforming taxes," she said corporate income tax foments crony capitalism and that is one aspect of his "9-9-9 Plan" she would change.

Hannity asked Gov. Palin about Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry. "Newt has been in the trenches. He has seen it all. His, calm, cool, and collected demeanor bodes well in these debates, because he's not down in that junior high level of bickering back and forth with the other candidates. But he wants to stay at the 60,000-foot level and talk about solutions and address what the problem is. And the problem is obviously, Obama's socialist policies that are bankrupting this country," she said.

"Rick Santorum resonates, and he too can build some momentum," Gov. Palin said.

She said she wanted to hear more details about Rick Perry's flat tax proposal, which is based on the one Steve Forbes drew up nearly a decade ago.

When asked about the exchange between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney over the latter allegedly hiring an illegal immigrant, Gov. Palin said candidates should avoid pettiness and focus on solutions. She added that the debates are democracy in action and reveal characters.

Hannity asked Gov. Palin if she had any regrets about not running. Gov. Palin said she is satisfied with her decision. "I appreciate the role that hopefully I will be able to play and that is spurring discussion on how to spur economic growth in this country and very thankful - it seems like these Republican candidates are getting the ball rolling on talking about the solutions that so many of us want to be able to discuss with them," she said.

Video retrieved from SarahNET

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

O4P-CA: Keep Calm & Carry On

Perhaps recent events can best be described by O4P-CA's Susan and Ray of (E & O). Last month as anxiety swelled over Sarah Palin's delayed announcement; the creative team of E & O came out with another super cool (and free download) poster titled:

Keep Calm And Carry On.

This sensible rallying cry is conceivably more befitting today than it was a few short weeks ago. (NOTE TO SELF: Could one week in politics be like dog years?) The time between the Indianola speech and today seems like an eternity...

Reloading and moving forward with constructive goals is the best way to make sure our work continues.

For the past three years, both in public and in private, we've frequently talked about how this moment in history is not about Sarah Palin, or any one candidate.

This network, this movement, this crusade really always has been about creating and maintaining an engaged citizenry.

Someone will win the Whig GOP primary, and someone will win the 2012 presidential race.

Our country needs to be fixed. OBVI!

There's really only one way to put America back on the right track. And that is through an engaged citizenry. An engaged citizenry is key to effectively govern and pass an agenda of sudden and relentless reform.

Enthusiasm for the 2012 presidential race is up for grabs. With Sarah Palin not seeking the GOP nomination at this time, the focus has (wisely) shifted toward seizing the U.S. Senate.

Through an engaged citizenry we have a unique opportunity. The Republican Party is on the brink of a historic new dawn. Through our courage, our optimism, and our hard work, we can bring a significant invigoration to the party of Lincoln.

We have an opportunity to build a better future for all by taking up the gauntlet of resurrection and giving rebirth to the GOP.

In 2012, Democrats hold 23 of the 33 Senate seats that can be seized.

The bi-partisan animosity toward incumbents has only grown since the last election cycle.

If we work hard, and play our cards right we can look forward to even bigger gains in 2012.

1) We need to retain the House.

2) Come hell or high water we absolutely must seize the Senate.

3) We cannot lose focus and let presidential politics (via the LSM) dominate and exhaust all of our existence, our punch, and our energy.

Moving forward toward 2012 one thing is certain: We will see more political corruption. Political corruption in the media and political corruption in the permanent political class.

By keeping our determination and our commitment intact. We can advance, strengthen, and carry on as organized entities who work together toward the restoration of our founders values and principles--on every level of government.

By working together as an engaged citizenry we have the power to elect concrete and solid, constitutional conservative candidates who:

- Put country first.

- Understand that energy independence is the key element of our economic security and betterment that all Americans want and deserve.

- Believe in American Exceptionalism.

- Understand that American foreign policy should, above all, be founded in our national interest, and not the interests of others.

Let's stay calm, let's stay focused, and together let's restore America.

Follow O4P-CA on Twitter: @CA4Palin

Follow Thomas on Twitter: @ThomasSSchmitz


Governor Palin on "On the Record" with Greta Van Susteren

As published at SarahPAC: Governor Palin on "On the Record" with Greta Van...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happy 21st Birthday Bristol Palin

Bristol Sheeran Marie Palin, who was named after Bristol Bay was born October 18, 1990. The time of her birth unknown.

Bristol is a chip off the old block in terms of resilience, and accomplishments. What we have born witness to is nothing short of amazing. Bristol has in fact shared in some of her mother's accomplishments, accompanying Gov. Palin to Haiti; a key speech at the Long Island Association; Heroes Among Us and the White House Correspondents Dinner; and a major speech in Seoul, South Korea.

Bristol authored Not Afraid of Life with the help of Nancy French and conducted a small-scale book tour.

Bristol has over 55,000 Facebook friends and is closing in on 56,000.


She is a teen, women's issues and advocacy advocate through Single Source Speakers. year ago today, she celebrated her birthday by dancing the Jive in Week Five of Dancing with the Stars.

Bristol's birthday also falls out on Alaska Day.

On this day - Bristol's Birthday - in 2008, Gov. Palin performed a comedy routine with Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live.

The staff of US for Palin wish Bristol a Happy 21st Birthday, and many more years filled with health, joy, love, and prosperity.

You can see a comprehensive overview of Bristol's accomplishments on our dedicated Bristol Page.