Lately we’ve been discussing how to empower those you lead. One of the most important keys to empowering those you lead is to give them appropriate authority. This is the area most people think of when they hear the word empower, and it is a vital component of inspirational leadership.
Author and management consultant Mac McIntire defines empowerment as the extent to which a leader “has trust, respect, and confidence in an employee’s ability to make appropriate decisions or to take appropriate action on work-related issues.”
McIntire goes on to explain that when a leader “trusts the employee’s judgment, respects the employee’s opinion, and has confidence in the employee’s decision-making abilities,” he or she will be “more inclined to grant the employee the power to work free of close management scrutiny.”
None of us start out as experienced, senior leaders. Each of us has to start at the bottom and work our way up, gaining greater ability and authority as we go. But somewhere along the way, someone does recognize our ability and grant us that authority, enabling and empowering us to further innovate, experiment, make decisions, and achieve greater results.
Inspirational leaders recognize the critical importance of giving that kind of authority to those they lead, empowering them to achieve greater success—personally, professionally, and organizationally!
So what about you—do you give that kind of authority? Do you have confidence in those you lead? Do you give them a chance to make decisions based on their own judgment?
As George S. Patton once said, “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” Are you ready to give authority and be surprised?