Leadership Program – Are you a Secure Enough as a Leader to Empower Others?
Are you a Secure Enough as a Leader to Empower Others?
The most effective way of leading any team is not by trying to do everything yourself, clutching onto every morsel of power your position holds. The best way to lead any team to greatness is to identify leaders within your teams, invest time to build them up into great leaders themselves. Give them responsibility, accountability and authority and then allow them the latitude they need to succeed. Theodore Roosevelt put this concept into context when he said “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it”.
You can never expect your team leaders to perform at their best, if you do not give them the authority to act. I have seen too many insecure leaders who constantly undermine their people because they cannot let go of the reigns. The reality is that when any insecure leader cannot delegate authority to his or her team leaders. He or she does not only undermine his people as leaders, but by not empowering them, he or she undermines their own leadership ability. They create havoc in the lives of their team members and ultimately damage their organisation. Only secure leaders, who are willing to empower their people, can be successful in the long run.
To become a great leader we must be secure enough to build the people in our teams up, so that they can realise their full potential. That means that we must invest time and resources into building them into great leaders themselves. Where we develop, encourage and grow them, allowing them to have authority to lead without meddling in the day to day leadership of their teams. The best thing any great leader can do is grow other great leaders, encouraging and empowering them to greatness. Secure leaders develop other great leaders and in the process they become even greater leaders themselves.
If you imagine a leader standing with his hands on his “SUBORDINATES” shoulders pushing him down. The lower he pushes his “SUBORDINATE” down, the lower his head drops in the process. On the other hand when a leader bends down to extend his hand to help his team members up to his level; he rises up as he lifts them. This simple analogy should give you a pretty clear picture of the importance of investing time, energy and resources into growing the leaders within your teams and empowering them. Both you and the person you are investing effort into growing, will benefit in the long run.
The greatest challenge we as leaders have today, which restricts us and stops us from empowering our people, stems from the way we were programmed as children. Our role models in leadership positions when we were children, our teachers, coaches and even our parents never allowed us to have any authority at all. Even the leadership games we played as children, like king of the castle and follow the leader, encouraged us to either knock other people down so that we could be the leader or to do difficult things, which we knew our followers couldn’t do, so that we could look more powerful. Both our role models and the games we played whilst we were children have programmed us to believe that leadership is about winners and losers. This programming has taught us to act against the principals, which make great leaders.
The toughest and wisest thing any leader needs to realise is that great leadership is not about enriching yourself as the leader, but rather about developing and empowering others. Empowered people are far happier, more productive and have a much greater probability of reaching their full potential. Any “MANAGER” who creates barriers within his organisation, by not empowering his people, will eventually have a group of disinterested people, who merely do enough not to get fired. If you want people to realise their full potential and perform at their best, encourage them, empower them and allow them to grow.
What is stopping you from empowering your teams?
- To effectively empower your teams, you must be secure as a leader and know that you are not making yourself dispensable as the leader, when you empower the people in your teams, but that as your teams perform better and you grow new leaders, you are actually making yourself indispensable. As you develop a pattern of consistent achievement and your teams keep performing well, you will be recognised and rewarded.
- As you empower your people, there will be change as they grow and innovate. The price of innovation and progress is change. So be willing to embrace and welcome positive change as you and your team grow and expand.
- You must be secure as a leader and as a person. You cannot lead effectively or empower others unless you are secure in yourself. Self-conscious people can never be great leaders. If you are to become a great leader, you must stop focusing on yourself and worrying about what other people think of you. You can never empower someone else if you do not feel like you have any power yourself.
As you work to empower, develop and grow the people around you, you too will grow as both a person and a leader. Learn to trust and believe in the “RIGHT” people and work to grow and empower them and you will have a huge impact as a leader.
Author: Andrew Horton Leadership Training and Team Building South Africa