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Empowering Leadership : The Art of Letting Go

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Tell me and I forge, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn
Empowering Leadership : The Art of Letting Go

Introduction: In this blog, I am discussing empowering leadership and the art of letting go. The corridors of leadership are filled with many types of leaders. Some command and control while others inspire and mentor. But there's a difference between those who keep their team on a tight leash and those who truly empower them. In this issue, let's dive deep into the concept of empowering leadership and why it's essential for both individual and organizational growth.

Releasing the Reins - The Common Struggle: It's no secret that some leaders grapple with the idea of releasing control. Their intentions may be rooted in good, stemming from a desire to maintain standards or even protect their team from potential pitfalls. But in this desire to guide, they may just "tell" or "teach." By doing so, they miss out on a pivotal leadership step: Empowerment. I founded a nonprofit almost two decades ago and after being at the helm for ten years I was counseled to let go of the reins and step into the role of "Chair Emeritus".

It took a whole year and a lot of convincing before I finally let go of the reins. It was the right decision and allowed the organization to experience fresh insights and navigate uncharted territories.

The Power of Empowerment: Leadership isn't about being at the forefront all the time. At its core, it's about building a legacy - a chain of individuals equipped with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to develop others. By empowering team members, leaders pave the way for future leadership within the organization.

The old adage goes, "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

By involving team members in decision-making processes, challenging them with responsibilities, and granting them autonomy, leaders nurture an environment where learning through experience becomes a cornerstone.

Warren Buffet is known for his long-term perspective on investments and leadership. He seeks to identify and nurture leaders who share his values and vision for the company, and he encourages them to think in terms of decades, not just short-term gains. He is a great example to study best practices for empowering the next generation of leaders.

Benefits of Empowering Leadership:

  1. Innovation & Creativity: Empowered individuals often feel more encouraged to think outside the box, bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to the table.

  2. Greater Responsibility: With empowerment comes a sense of ownership. Team members are more likely to take initiative and ensure tasks are completed with diligence.

  3. Team Growth: As team members are given room to grow and take on new challenges, they not only develop their skills but also pave the way for future leadership roles.

  4. Increased Loyalty: Feeling trusted and valued can significantly boost team members' loyalty to the organization and its leadership.

Practical Steps to Empower Your Team:

  1. Delegate with Trust: Assign tasks or projects and allow team members the autonomy to approach them in their own way.

  2. Provide Constructive Feedback: Instead of just pointing out mistakes, guide them on how to improve and avoid similar pitfalls in the future.

  3. Foster a Safe Environment: Encourage open communication where team members can voice their opinions, concerns, and suggestions without fear.

  4. Invest in Continuous Learning: Organize training sessions, workshops, or seminars that help in skill development and knowledge enhancement.

Conclusion: True leadership lies in nurturing and paving the way for future leaders. By letting go and empowering others, leaders can ensure a lasting impact that extends beyond their tenure, creating a ripple effect that benefits the entire organization. As you reflect on your leadership style, remember: It's not about leading for its own sake but about allowing others the space and confidence to fly.

I would love to hear from you. Let me know if this topic resonates, agree, or disagree. I would also love to hear what leadership challenges you would like me to cover:)

Join us next week: We'll be delving into the relationship between leadership and emotional intelligence, and why EQ might just be the secret sauce to effective leadership. Stay tuned!

PS If you are looking to level up your leadership skills or the skills of your leadership team, feel free to reach out for a free 30-minute call. Book that here.


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