[vimeo id="156023820"] No leader has ever succeeded on their own. There are always other people and teams that make up the backbone of effective leadership. That’s why an empowering leader is also an empowered leader. Dan Rockwell recently wrote a blog post about the four ways to unleash the power in others. He points out that one of the main sources of dis-empowerment is a leader’s ego. In driving to be remarkable, leaders will sometimes inhibit the growth of others. But the real key to transformational leadership is to cultivate and release the power and potential of others. So here are the four ways Dan says we can empower others along with some of my own thoughts.
Number one, you empower people through cooperation, not competition. Insecure leaders cultivate destructive competition among teams. They seek to keep their own power by dis-empowering those around them. But a transformational leader seeks to partner with other exceptional leaders. That understanding that the key to being effective is to come alongside and achieve greatness together!
Number two, you empower people by turning frustrations into aspirations. Frustration is seeing unrealized potential and greatness. It’s having a greater vision for the organization than what you see around you. So ask your team, “What frustrates you?” What you’re really doing is discovering their vision and aspirations for the future! You are uncovering the immense possibilities of empowering your team’s dreams!
Number three, you empower people through action. You see, this is the very purpose of empowerment. A true leader enables others to succeed at a higher level than they could on their own. What are the goals of those around you? Have they sketched out a plan to reach those goals? What could you do to get them to the next step of their plan? Encourage your team to dream big and maximize their talents and abilities. Be a source of empowerment and encouragement in your team.
And finally, number four, you empower people by allowing them to make mistakes. What safety nets do you have in place? Do you have training available or one-on-one mentoring? Do the leaders around you know they can reach you if an emergency comes up? You see, a person is more likely to take action if they feel safe. So creating an effective support system is crucial to transformational empowerment. Having zero tolerance for failure will ALWAYS destroy morale and be a source of discouragement. When your team knows that they are free to fail, they will be more willing to take risks and be more dedicated to the mission. Leaders must communicate that failure is not detrimental, it’s a source of learning and empowerment for the future.
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