Leadership is not easy. There is so much talk about it in our culture, so much teaching on it now that it’s almost assumed it’s nothing more than being inspiring, quoting some good phrases and cheering people on.
While those are definite characteristics of leadership any good leader knows they are a miniscule part.
I recently had a thought, “I have found as a leader, no matter the situation, it’s always better to be empowering than controlling.”
After leading for 25 years and observing some great leaders I believe it’s true. However it’s harder to do than to say.
There are some prerequisites to empowerment.
To empower you must…
1. Know those you lead.
To see empowerment as a method flippintly employed by a leader to create momentum or growth would be a mistake. You cant just empower anyone. You have to know your team and if they’re ready to be empowered.
2. Trust has to be developed.
You may release someone to run with something, but if you don’t trust you will ultimately swoop in and take control. No trust, no real empowerment.
3. Good communication
Full empowerment with anything less than great communication will end up in a missed target and wasted energy.
If what your empowering for is not entirely clear, it’s a set up for failure.
Some people think empowerment equals an atmosphere of no accountability and spastic chaos. Not so. True empowerment is focused and intentional before, so you don’t have to take back control after.
Leaders who can’t or won’t get to know their team, develop trust, communicate well, or be clear will never effectively empower people. They will attempt to control everything, limit their influence, become frustrated and stressed.
Lets do the pre-work and then release our team to fly.