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12 – The Law of Empowerment

The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants to be done, and the self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” — Theodore Roosevelt

This law states that effective leaders have both the trust and the courage to empower others. If leaders don’t empower their subordinates, they inadvertently limit their organization’s success because others aren’t allowed to reach their full potential.

To lead well you need to share your power, especially with other leaders. If you give people responsibility, authority, and resources, and help them develop as leaders, they’ll achieve. Believe in people, because when you, as a leader, believe in them, they’ll believe in themselves.

Barriers of Empowerment:

  1. Desire for job security – A weak leader worries that if he helps subordinates, he may become dispensable. However, the best way to make yourself indispensable is to make yourself dispensable. If you learn to empower others and help them develop, you will become even more valuable to the organization.
  2. Resistance to change – Empowerment brings constant change because it pushes people to grow and innovate. Change becomes the price of progress, but many try to avoid change at all costs.
  3. Lack of self-worth: Many people obtain their personal value and self-esteem from their job and position. If you try to change that, you become a threat. But for those who have self-confidence, change becomes a stimulus, because it brings new opportunities that they are willing to explore.
  4. Leading by lifting up others: the greatest things happen only when you give others the credit.

As much as we would love to handle everything on our own, leading a team is about slowly giving up that power. Truly great leaders know how to empower their team.

Empowerment then is about trust. It would help if you trusted your employees to be responsible, and they must believe that you will support them when they make a mistake.

Empowering others:
If you want to be a successful leader, you must learn how to empower others. Here are a few ideas for empowering leaders.
1 – Identify people who have the best potential to become strong leaders
2 – Build them up. The more you raise people up, the more you go up too.
3 – Give them resource, authority and responsibility.
4 – Turn them loose to give the same back.

The Law of Empowerment is all about sacrificing yourself so that the people around you may gain the knowledge and experience they need. But by empowering others, good leaders become great.

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Stephen W Murphy:

The Law of Empowerment