“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
What does it mean to “empower others?” According to dictionary.com, the definition of “empower” is: “to give power or authority to; authorize, especially by legal or official means.”
Besides having the ‘power or authority to authorize,’ what is required from a leadership perspective to enable empowerment?
Here are some of the critical leadership behaviors required to build an empowered culture.
The first is clarity. To create an empowered culture, the leader must ensure that the team is crystal clear on its purpose and intent. Without clarity, empowerment cannot exist.
Second, the leadership must reinforce that results are more important than who makes the decision. In an empowered culture, it doesn’t matter who makes the decision or who gets the credit; what’s important is delivering the desired results.
Third, the leader focuses on asking the right questions versus giving the answers. Otherwise, the team is aggressively waiting to be told what to do—this is the antithesis of empowerment.
Fourth, there is an ownership mentality versus renting. Empowered teams thrive when they are expected to behave like owners, not renters.
The exciting thing is that the same attributes apply when considering self-leadership and developing your empowerment as an individual. Consider the above in question form:
- Do I have clarity about what is essential and important?
- Have I identified the results that matter?
- What are the right questions I need to be asking myself?
- What do I need to do to demonstrate complete ownership of my life?
The most beautiful thing about empowerment? It creates more leaders…