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Leading with Empowerment

Updated: Oct 14, 2022

"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"

~Theodore Roosevelt~

Can you Lead everyone or get everyone to follow you?

Leadership has it's limits. I have to have a relationship where people are willing to follow me. Eventually, relationships will determine the size and the length of leadership. The strongest relationships equal the longest relationships.

Have you ever wondered how the weakest person in the relationship controls the relationship? It's true. We have a tendency as leaders to try to coddle or give more help to the weakest. We have those who can run circles around the weak one, however they are the ones overlooked. They don't draw the attention to themselves as needing help, or building a better relationship with until, they put in their resignation, We ask why they would want to leave, "I don't feel valued. I do everything very well, with little to no recognition."

Here are the potential problems that can arise from the relationship with the weakest person:

  1. The leader stops leading because of the weaker one. Hurt feelings, or you may feel you pushed to hard.

  2. The leader spends to much time with the weaker one. You want them to succeed they just need a little more push than others.

  3. The leader allows the weaker one too much influence. I was told I don't have to participate or do that...

  4. the leader takes responsibility for the weaker one.

Vision. You can only lead people who are on the same vision plan as you are. They have to be able to see where you want to lead them, and believe they can get there.

Dissatisfaction and discouragement are not caused by the absence of of things...but the absence of the vision. Complacent people who do not see the vision or can't see the vision drain the energy out of others.

If you have a complacent team here are some suggestions:

  1. Keep sharing your dream! Make sure everyone knows what they are FOR, what the vision is FOR. It's purpose.

  2. Keep moving with or without them. Some people may need to be left behind.

  3. Keep pointing to the victories.

Growth Challenges. You cannot lead people if they are not willing to change. If we always do it the way we always did it, we will never get any further. If change doesn't make you uncomfortable then it's not real change.

Potential. You cannot lead people higher than they are willing to climb. You have to know each of their potential. Leaders can match the man to the mountain. Who you have in place is very important.

Leaders weaknesses:

  1. Believing people can do more than they are capable of doing. Know their limits.

  2. Believing people can do it quicker than they are capable of doing. I need this done yesterday. No clear expectations.

  3. Believing people want to do more than they are capable of doing. Not everyone will be willing to work 120%. Some will give you 75% knowing the difference will help you determine who can handle what.

What can we learn from these weakness?

  1. Not all people can climb to the same level.

  2. All people can climb higher than their present level.

  3. A leader evaluated the person's potential.

  4. A leader places each person in a position for success.

You have to know your personal limitations. You cannot lead people beyond your own leadership skills. Know your abilities. When you learn your leadership skills you can then determine:

  1. The size of you organization.

  2. The quality of people within your organization.

  3. The number of leaders within your organization.

  4. The morale of your organization.

  5. The potential growth of your organization.

Remember the Attraction Principle: We attract who we are, not what we want.

You have to have credibility. No one will allow you to lead them if they don't trust you can take them higher than they are.

Trust is the single most important factor in both personal and professional relationships. "Trust is the glue that holds an organization together." Warren Buffet

There are several ways you can learn to build trust. Trust is hard to earn, but easy to lose so follow these guidelines:

  1. Live a consistent lifestyle. No matter who you are with be the same person you always portray.

  2. Make sure you have honest communication. Sometimes, honesty can be hard to deliver, yet without it we create unbalance.

  3. Be transparent. People should not wonder what it is you stand for.

  4. Have a healthy dose of humility. No one wants to follow a blow-hard no matter how many times they are right. People who toot their own horn loudly tend to take away their own credibility.

  5. Give support. Proven support will show others that you will stand with them. The proof is what others will look for.

  6. If you make a promise make sure you fulfil that promise and keep it. Don't make a promise you can't keep. Don't take your promises lightly.

  7. Have a servant attitude. What can you do to add value to your team. What can you do to help them.

  8. There has to be two-way participation. You can't just be the one that tells everyone what to do. Leaders show the way. They also share in the commitment of the team. Allowing others to participate and help boosts their confidence in you and in their own worth.

What are you willing to sacrifice? You cannot lead others past your level of commitment. Very seldom will your team sacrifice more than their leader. If they put the time in, the want to see the leader putting in as much time if not more.

Leaders need to be disciplined in their lifestyle. You cannot lead other people when you live an undisciplined lifestyle. One that could damage your reputation. Actions that speak louder than your words. This includes how you treat your family and friends. If you can't treat them with respect how will you be able to treat your team with respect. It also speaks volumes to your behavior and addictions. If you are on a business trip and your couple of drinks with a client lead to a drunken show instead, it will show your true lifestyle. To consistently and successfully lead others, we must consistently and successfully lead ourselves. A disciplined lifestyle means:

  1. I have to consistently pay the price for my position.

  2. I have to consistently provide what my people need from me, and what they need to perform their tasks well.

  3. I have to consistently do what made me successful.

  4. I have to consistently do it better than I did yesterday. Showing there is always room for improvement. What worked out well? What can I improve?

  5. I have to consistently grow in my personal and professional life. Taking courses, reading books, blogs and listening to podcasts are some prime examples. When most people arrive at their success destination, they stop doing what made them successful.

It may sound strange but servant leaders are the most successful leaders. You cannot lead people without a willingness to serve them. Servant-hood is the missing link in most chains of command.

Knowing your limitations as a leader will help you become a better leader. If you are ready to explore more leadership development contact us.

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