9Leadership in Early Childhood Education uses some form of advantage to influence the behavior of another person. Power is often understood as a negative term in early care and education. This connotation may exist because we are unfamiliar with the many ways that power can be used in positive ways. Power can be used on, for, or with another person. Power used on or over someone is simply oppression, since the follower is not provided with choices or options. Power used for someone is facilitation—opportunities, choices, and options are provided, and the other person makes the decision. Power used with someone is empowerment—you and the other person learn and succeed together—which is a very important part of leadership because each person can contribute unique gifts and abilities to accomplish a shared or common goal. Authority Leadership is not simply having authority. A person in authority is the one who has the right to make certain decisions. This right may come from a variety of sources, including an elected or appointed position, age (as in a family situation), or a professional position within a group or organization. A leader may possess authority, but a person in authority is not necessarily a leader. A person with authority may have the right to make a decision, but that doesn’t mean she will make the right decision! Status Leadership is not the same as having status. People with status may be merely the people who occupy top positions within an organization. Status doesn’t always determine leadership ability. There are people who work at the top levels of every field who couldn’t lead a group of five-year-olds to ice cream. All leaders have some form of status, but not all of those who have status can be called effective leaders. Management Is leadership the same as management? An ongoing debate rages over the similarities and differences between management and leadership. For many, the two terms are interchangeable; they’re seen as two different words for LTL2_FINALpp.indd 9 11/4/09 3:21:08 PM