How many leaders (think bosses, managers, politicians, spiritual leaders, etc…) have you had in your life over the last 20 years? Of those, how many of them proactively created an empowering environment? How many helped you grow? How many helped you become a better version of yourself? How many helped you further your career? How many helped you be happier, more productive, or more passionate? How many helped you become a better leader yourself?
I’ve had 2 out of 7 that I would describe as empowering. And, to be honest, I’m pretty sure I’ve been an empowering leader at some points in my career and not so much at other points.
Positional leaders have a responsibility to use their power well. That’s easier said than done. There’s no one strategy. It’s not enough to just be encouraging. It’s not something you can do one day and take a break the next. In fact, it’s not just about having a positive relationship with one employee or follower.
Using positional power well is about creating an environment where people flourish. The 5 sections of the ®Empowerment Target are specifically designed to help leaders know where to put their power to work. The center of the target represent the mission of the organization or team. When the culture is right that mission takes center stage and every member of the organization can focus without distraction on bringing their best selves to the accomplishment of that mission.