“Only secure leaders give power to others.” – John Maxwell
Mark Twain said, “Great things can happen when you don’t care who gets the credit.” Insecure leaders do not empower. There are three predominate reasons that explain the reluctance of people to share their power.
- Job Security – Many mistakenly believe that hoarding knowledge and skills ensures job security. Those that have made that decision have found the demand for their long-held knowledge and skills diminish due to shifting business needs. Hoarding knowledge and skills only serves to prevent personal growth.
- Resistant to Change – Empowering people causes them to grow. Empowerment encourages constant change because people do not stagnate but tend to look for new ways to accomplish objectives. Innovation by definition includes the concept of change. Progress occurs by challenging the status quo resulting in constant change. As creatures of habit, people often find change difficult to embrace. Leaders must learn to embrace change and even encourage change. Great leaders by definition are change agents, the catalyst and support of change.
- Lack of Self-Worth or Low Self-Esteem – This barrier prevents people from becoming effective leaders because they tend to be self-conscious or acutely aware and concerned about what others think about them, how they look, or whether people like them. People with low self-worth give power and control over their own lives to other people leaving little to no power left for them to empower others. On the other hand, people with a healthy sense of self-worth believe they can make a difference and actively empower other people to increase their capacity, performance, and achievement.
If you find one or more of these barriers restricting your ability to empower others, refer to The Law of Process (February 27, 2017). We all need to grow. Make the change. Secure leaders surround themselves with the best and the brightest people and are not jealous or threatened.
Another point to ponder… “Great leaders gain authority by giving it away.” – Admiral James B. Stockdale
So what can you do? (H5H Action Steps):
- Trust your team with responsibility – If you want them to grow you must let them go. This also means that we must let those we are empowering make mistakes and then learn those valuable lessons that only mistakes teach.
- Train your team for competency – When we and our leaders stop growing so will our business. This means that every day we need to show someone something. If you don’t spend quality time training, you will spend all your time training.
- Unleash them with authority – When you train and trust, everyone on your team will make the right decision. As long as decisions are being made with the guest in mind we cannot lose. It is only when we put ourselves ahead of others that decline begins.
- Monitor your team through accountability – Accountability is not following our people around like a highway patrolman tailing us. Accountability is planned follow-up where they know they will report on the progress of the project or the ministry.
- Believe in them for maximum potential – The leader cares enough for their team that they believe in them and wants them to succeed. How do you know if you are an empowering leader? The moment you experience more joy in the success of others than in your own success.
“The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what they want done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Lead The Way!