Referent Power: The Ultimate Form of Influence

Nir Eyal
Psychology of Stuff
7 min readMay 7, 2024

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“Be the change you want to see in the world.” — paraphrased quote from Mahatma Gandhi

Where does a leader’s power come from?

In their landmark 1959 report often referenced in leadership theory, social psychologists John R. P. French and Bertram Raven pinpointed five bases of power:

  1. Legitimate: when people perceive that your rank in a…

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Nir Eyal
Psychology of Stuff

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