Hagberg Model of Personal Power

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Six stages of power and leadership. Explanation of the Model of Personal Power of Janet O. Hagberg. (1984)

What is the Hagberg Model of Personal Power? Description

Janet O. Hagberg defines Personal Power as the combination of external power (capacity to ACT) with internal power (capacity to REFLECT). Her Personal Power model distinguishes the following six stages of personal power and leadership in organizations:

  Stage Characteristics: Leads by: Manages by: Motivated by: Needs from manager:
Externally-oriented   Power is primarily sought and obtained from outside the person, from titles, positions, or other symbols or status        
1. Powerlessness Secure and dependent, low in self-esteem, uninformed, helpless but not hopeless Domination, force Muscling, force Fear Support, direction
2. Power by Association Apprentice, learning the culture, dependent on supervisor / leader, new self-awareness Sticking to the rules Maneuvering, catching up Learning Safety, freedom to explore
3. Power by Achievement Mature ego, realistic and competitive, expert, ambitious Charisma, personal persuasion Monitoring, Results Visible signs of success Feedback, challenge, questions
Internally- oriented   Power is primarily sought and obtained from the inner journey of the person        
4. Power by Reflection Reflective / confused, competent in collaboration, strong, comfortable with personal style, skilled at mentoring, showing true leadership Modeling integrity, generating trust Mentoring, process Inner exploration Time, space
The Wall Moving beyond your intellect, letting go of control, embracing your shadow, going to your core, finding intimacy with your higher power, glimpsing wisdom        
5. Power by Purpose Self-accepting, courageous, calm, conscience of the organization, humble, practical mystics, elusive qualities, generous in overpowering others, confident of life calling Empowering others, service to others (Compare: Servant-Leadership) Acting as catalyst Living their calling Protection
6. Power by Wisdom Integrating shadow, unafraid of death, powerless, quiet in service, conscience in the community / world, compassion for the world Wisdom, a way of being Musing Self-sacrifice Nothing


Origin of the Hagberg Model of Personal Power. History

The personal power model was developed originally as a culmination of coursework of Hagberg towards her PhD in adult development at the University of Minnesota, many years of business and professional experience, and personal interviews with and feedback from hundreds of people in organizations.

Usage of the Hagberg Model of Personal Power. Applications

  • Managers
    • Managers should learn how to read employees and choose, in addition to the most comfortable managing style (for themselves), an appropriate management style for each employee. Compare: Situational Leadership, Contingency Theory.
  • Leaders
    • Basically, leaders at each of the stages develop followers who are or want to be like them. Compare: Leadership Pipeline.
    • The position or status of the person is no guarantee of true leadership. The quality of the person is what determines true leadership.
    • According to Hagberg, to be a true leader requires that the person has experienced a crisis of integrity and reached Stage 4 or higher. However, such people often do not pursue positions of power for their own sake and may even shy away from them.
  • Self-reflection.
  • Coaching, Mentoring.
  • HRM

Limitation of the Hagberg Model of Personal Power. DisadvantageModel of Personal Power (Janet O. Hagberg)

  • The world surrounding Stage 4-6 people is run from much narrower Stage 1-3 visions, and can rarely appreciate or truly encourage the emergence of higher levels of leadership.

Assumptions of the Hagberg Model of Personal Power. Conditions

Hagberg mentions the following assumptions:

  • The stages of personal power are arranged in a developmental order.
  • Each stage is different from all the others.
  • People can be in different stages of power in different areas of their lives, at different times, and with different people. However each of us has a home stage which typically represents us.
  • One can move through the home stages only in the order from one to six.
  • Power is described and manifested differently at each stage.
  • Each stage has positive and negative dimensions as well as developmental struggles within it.
  • Women are more likely to identify with certain stages and men with other stages.
  • You do not necessarily proceed to new stages merely with age or experience, although both are factors.
  • The most externally- and organizationally-oriented power stages (1-3) show a marked contrast to the internally-oriented power stages (4-6).
  • The development of the ego and then the release of the ego are central tasks inherent within this model. Cultural rituals are necessary in order to do that successfully.
  • The stages primarily describe the development of individuals who live and work in the USA in the first half of the twenty-first century. Compare: Cultural Dimensions.

Book: Janet O. Hagberg - Real Power - Stages of Personal Power in Organizations -

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Compare with the Hagberg Model of Personal Power: Bases of Social Power  |  Situational Leadership  |  Servant-Leadership  |  Spiral Dynamics  |  Leadership Styles  |  Leadership Pipeline  |  Level 5 Leadership  |  EPIC ADVISERS

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