I am looking for word to describe someone's general "area of effect" or a combination of authority, influence and effect over/on something.

This is very hard for me to explain, but try to bear with me and the following examples:

Example 1:

Lets say I have been promoted to a Technical Lead at some IT-company for example. One would expect to have a lot of general say, authority and influence over different decisions in this role. Lets say that for some reason I have very little of any of those and I would like to complain about that on the internet.

I would like to say something like "I don't like how I have so little <what?> in my current role".

I could say:

  • "I don't like how I have so little authority in my current role"
  • "I don't like how I have so little influence in my current role"

But neither of these feel right because I could have a lot of authority, but not a lot of influence, or I could have a lot of influence but not a lot of authority. I would like to describe my lack of everything such as authority or influence with one word.

I'm thinking of something like "I have so little (decision making) domain in my current role" or having a lack of general "space" or "tools" to do anything.

Example 2:

Lets say that I would like to do something to help slow down the global warming as an individual. I recycle, I bike to work, I do everything that I can do as an individual to help the environment. In the meanwhile some country X decides to burn 10 million tons of rubber tires or something.

I wouldn't say exactly that the country X has more authority over what happens to the environment. The action of burning 10 million tons of rubber tires has more effect over what happens to the environment though, but it might not be the only thing that country X does and maybe country X is some kind of authority on mass rubber tire burning, but again, not exactly authority on the environmental forums.

So I would like to say that "As an individual, I have a very little <what?> over environmental decisions or what happens to the environment".

I indeed have very little authority, very little effect, very little influence and a lack of tools and resources to do anything. What word can I use to describe that I have none of the aforementioned or that the domain/space I can operate in as an individual when it comes to the environment is very small because of the lack of the aforementioned?

The word that I am thinking of also describes the authority/influence/effect in terms of some kind of domain or space. So a CEO could have a lot of it over their company, USA or China has a lot of it over global markets, every person should have a lot of it over their own lives, parents have a lot of it over their children, ...

A king rules (over) his kingdom. To rule is a good term in this context and it describes the king's authority, influence, effect, resources and the general space and the freedom that the king has over everything all at the same time. One could also say something like "A king that has no <word?> is no ruler", but what word should go there to describe the lack of everything that makes the king not a ruler?


3 Answers 3


First of all I'd like to point out that the noun authority is commonly used to denote a person who has proven to be an expert in a field and is therefore considered to be authoritative within that field.

  • A somewhat broad term could be province:

    sphere or field of activity or authority, as of a person; office, function, or business:

  • Impact
    A broader alternative, which puts more emphasis on power than perceived authority.

    influence; effect

And if you don't mind using a more obscure word:

  • Bailiwick
    apart from the obvious "district within which a bailie or bailiff has jurisdiction", it also means

    a person's area of skill, knowledge, authority, or work

'Jurisdiction' itself is an option, but I feel it still emphasizes law or rule (as it literally means 'speaking/writing law').

  • 1
    I think these words fit the best for what I am looking for. Especially impact. I am accepting this answer :)
    – Swiffy
    Nov 20, 2022 at 16:07

An informal word that seems to fit your need is clout. The second def at dictionary.com has:

pull; strong influence; muscle, especially political power: a wealthy campaign contributor with clout at city hall.

  • While this is a great answer, I have to say that I unfortunately really dislike the word clout and think that it is somewhat ruined by e.g. Instagram and Tiktok. I just can't see anyone using the word clout outside social media context. It is a really good answer to the question though!
    – Swiffy
    Nov 20, 2022 at 16:10

Expertise (Wiktionary)

  1. Great skill or knowledge in a particular field or hobby.

  2. Advice, or opinion, of an expert.

Say (noun) (Wiktionary)

  • A chance to speak; the right or power to influence or make a decision.

e.g. you could say

I don't like how I lack the necessary expertise in my current role.

As an individual, I have little say over environmental decisions or what happens to the environment.

A king who has no expertise in state affairs is no ruler.

If you are looking for a single word to use in all three sentences, you are in luck.

Heft (Cambridge dictionary)

The influence, ability, or importance that someone or something has.

I don't like how I have so little heft in my current role.

As an individual, I have little heft over environmental decisions or what happens to the environment.

A king without heft is no ruler.

Other words that can be used are import, commission, agency, wherewithal, puissance, prowess etc."

  • 1
    This is not an answer. It contains nothing of your own words. It is mere copypasta.
    – tchrist
    Nov 19, 2022 at 23:19

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