- December 20, 2019
- Posted by: Alyson Van Hooser
- Category: Empowerment
When leaders are fanatical about empowerment, companies can unlock the option to achieve unprecedented success. Even with the promise of better results, many leaders still do not empower their team. Why? Let’s talk.
Fanatical About Empowerment
You may have read that title and thought, “Whoa! She’s coming in hot talking about “fanatical.” Well, I chose that word on purpose. Let’s define fanatical: a person who is extremely enthusiastic about and devoted to some interest or activity. Thank you Merriam-Webster.
I believe leaders who are fanatical about empowerment are extremely enthusiastic and devoted to taking intentional action to empower their employees constantly and consistently.
When leaders strategically empower their employees then they are helping their people to individually:
- Learn how to think critically
- Make the best decisions
- Operate in autonomy
But wait, there’s more!
As your people get to the highest levels of empowerment, you give yourself:
- Time back in your day (How often does that happen?!)
- A higher-performing team
- The ability to work on more value-added or interesting projects
There are huge benefits to empowering. That seems obvious to me. However, leaders still don’t do it. Why? Let’s talk about what’s holding leaders back and why they need to shift their mindset and actions to become fanatical about empowerment.
Why Leaders Aren’t Fanatical About Empowerment
Not Top of Mind
Leaders do certain things on purpose and other things without thought. I believe one of the top reasons leaders are not strategically empowering their employees constantly and consistently is because the idea of empowering individuals is not top of mind. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities of work. How do you start making empowerment top of mind for leaders? Create an environment that breeds empowerment. Talk about it in meetings, read about it, listen to podcasts about it, ask your colleagues about it, but ultimately—make a plan and EXECUTE! Knowledge without action is useless.
Don’t Have Time
Other leaders may have empowerment top of mind, but can’t figure out how to make time to execute. My response? Focus on the benefit. Let’s say you start off the empowerment process by taking a task you do every week and teaching an employee to do it. You may think, “I don’t have 10 hours to train this employee to do this task!” You have to flip the script and change your mindset. Think of it this way — if the task is taking you two hours every week, that’s 104 hours a year. Say to yourself, “I will spend 10 hours training this employee ONE TIME so I can spend 94 hours on a more valuable task EVERY. YEAR.”
Don’t Know How
Many leaders know they should be empowering employees. However, they aren’t because they don’t know how to do it correctly. Here is what I know… in order to empower employees effectively, leaders must be strategic about it. There has to be a well thought out communication and execution plan. Check out this blog for an idea: Empowerment—A Tricky Business.
Afraid of Success
This is a reason most leaders would never admit, so I am going to do it for them. Some leaders are not empowering people because they are afraid that their employees might out-perform them and make them look bad. Here’s the deal, when leaders start strategically empowering their employees, they most likely will start performing at a much higher level. The fact of the matter is that this will not make the leader look bad. Instead, the leader will look like they are killing it (because they are)!
Empowering is Key to Maximizing Results
Let’s think about teams who are not empowered and how they operate. Teams of individuals that do not feel empowered are only able to achieve X number of results. Why? Because people who are not empowered typically only work inside the constraints of their job descriptions and what they currently know. If you only have so much knowledge and power and are unable to increase either, then you can only pump out a certain result.
Empowerment is so key to maximizing results throughout a team.
Let’s think about teams who are empowered and how they operate. Teams of individuals who are empowered are able to continue to achieve better and better results. Why? Because people who are empowered have a no-limits view of what is possible for them and the team to achieve. Empowered employees are free to think outside the box, come up with ideas that might not have been brought to the table otherwise. They are able to make better, faster decisions which can affect both the bottom-line and internal/external morale. And the leader is now freed up from time spent micromanaging to time spent on responsibilities that will move the needle more than ever before.
(Does your team need training on exactly how to strategically empower their employees? Let’s talk about some options.)
How Everyone Else Sees Empowerment
We talked about how leaders might feel when it comes to empowering employees. Let’s look are how everyone else in the company might see it.
When a leader gets a reputation for developing people to perform at their highest potential, two things are going to happen:
- People below the leader on the organizational chart are going to want to be on that leader’s team. Why? Everyone wants to work for a great leader — someone who makes them better and helps develop their skills.
- People above that leader in the organization are going to want to promote that leader. Why? Every company needs high performing employees — the more the better. Leaders will get promoted if they are known for making that result a reality. Empowerment is a win-win for everyone!
Go Kill It
Successful empowerment does not happen by chance or coincidence — it happens on purpose. Correct, calculated, consistent action is key to effectively empowering employees. Empowerment is critical to achieving more success. This is why I believe for leaders to be successful in the 21st Century, they must become fanatical about empowerment.
Leaders must make a plan and execute. When leaders do this, gone will be the days of frustration with employees who won’t take initiative and perform at a higher level. Instead, leaders will welcome in a new era of the workforce where companies can achieve even the most audacious goals.
When leaders are undaunted by the responsibility of empowering people — the best results are yet to come! Choose from today going forward to be fanatical about empowerment.