The people’s capacity to achieve is determined by the leader’s ability to empower – John Maxwell
Most leaders I know like to believe that they are making a difference in their organization. Ask most and they will affirm that they are. I’m sure you are one of them and that you strive to make a difference daily.
But if we take a closer look a different story emerges in some instances. Research by Gallup (http://bit.ly/1uUCjpX) in 2014 shows that only 13 percent of all employees are “highly engaged” and 26 percent are “actively disengaged”. While not all companies have an employee engagement issue as mentioned here there are leadership lessons to be applied nonetheless.
On what level are leaders making a significant impact in their organizations if only 13 percent are highly engaged? Where is the reconciliation point between employers who believe that they are engaged and employees who believe that they are not? What rubric determines success and failure in this area?
One of the keys to bridging the gap rests with the leader’s mandate to empower his or her team. As a leader you are either empowering your team or you are endangering it. Here are five ways to know the difference.
Empowerment is an investment of your trust
Trust is essential to your success as a leader. You must first earn the trust of the people that you lead. Without trust you have nothing. But your investment as a leader in your people is a game changer when you unleash their potential to perform. When empowered and trusted the commitment level of your team members will go through the roof and performance will be off the charts. But this is where it begins or ends.
As a leader you endanger your organization and your team if you do not trust them and empower them to do their jobs.
Empowerment is an acknowledgment of your security
Leaders who are secure in their own strengths and abilities have no pause to empower others. Only secure leaders can give power away. It’s based upon the first principle mentioned here- trust. Confident and secure leaders set the tone and raise the bar for all leaders in their organization to follow. Show me a leader who is secure in his or her leadership and their ability to empower others and I will show you a confident team moving forward.
As a leader you endanger your team when you allow your insecurities to cloud your judgment and disrespect your people. Get over yourself and empower your people.
Empowerment is an expression of your adaptability
The old adage says that change is the only constant. Your relevance as a leader is connected to your ability to change. By empowering your people and unleashing their creativity you position your organization to stay current and competitive. Empowerment is a great change agent and without it you render your organization irrelevant.
As a leader you endanger yourself and your team when you lose your capacity to change. Keep your values intact and remain grounded to core principles, but always be willing to change your methods.
Empowerment is a reflection of your culture
Name any of the top successful companies you’d like such as Google, Apple, Amazon, Starbucks, Verizon, FedEx, Walt Disney, etc. and you will find that a culture of empowerment is a shared trait. Engaged leaders are attentive and intentional about creating a culture where people are valued, respected, trusted, and empowered. It’s the secret sauce of success.
As a leader you endanger your team and the culture that could be enjoyed by hoarding the power. It’s not about how much power you have but in how much you give away.
Empowerment is the blueprint of your success
Your growth and development as a leader comes with certain responsibilities and obligations. It’s to empower those around you and the next generation of leaders who follow. Simply put; it’s not about you. The level of success you wish to achieve is proportional to your commitment to empower those around you. A sampling of your blueprint to success for you and tour team should read like this: empowered, equipped, trusted, engaged, committed, etc. Is the picture becoming clearer?
As a leader you endanger your team and its future by neglecting the responsibilities of your leadership. Your leadership can make greater impact and be more rewarding when you realize it’s simply a tool of empowerment.
Are you empowering or endangering?
© 2016 Doug Dickerson
*For more information on my Employee Engagement workshop click the tab on the menu bar at the top of the page.