Monday, August 1, 2011

Empowerment and Its Place in Leadership

Empowerment is defined as giving power or the authority, enabling people, and/or permitting them to make decisions and share their power with others. Sharing your power is also known as empowerment.

An example of employee empowerment is when they are involved in developing job roles, work practices and processes. Empowerment is not just about increasing employee responsibility but including them or involving them from the outset, which indicates trust. Newly empowered employees will make mistakes. It is the job of management to support them by taking these mistakes as learning opportunities rather than culpable mistakes.

One of the greatest demands of leaders is to empower others. Empowerment is used to indicate the increased involvement of employees in organizational processes and decision-making. It also promotes employee well-being and a means of harnessing the knowledge and abilities of employees as a whole to promote performance. In order to deliver on a vision or strategy, you need able and empowered teams and employees.

Leaders have the ability to see potential in people, encourage them to have a sense of independence and accountability. It is only when you empower people that you help them reach their maximum potential. People do not like being held back. They want to succeed and gain the benefits of being an empowered resource for a company. They are more productive, are able to increase their knowledge and experience making them more effective in their job role.

If leaders do not know how to empower their people and assist them reach their maximum potential, they are actually shortchanging themselves of reaching their full potential as a leader. If you don’t empower people and help them reach their full potential, you are actually falling very short of maximizing your own inherent capacity as a leader. Empowering people is empowering yourself.

Bottom line is, people need to understand what they need to do to empower them. As a leader, it is important to build core foundation to empower them such as having a vision, strategy, and execution model. Without it, it is human nature that they will execute based on their self-interest and/or political agenda.

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