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Somebody reading this blog will lead in business. Someone else will lead in the media. Another person will lead in sports. Others will lead in government, and some people will lead in church ministry.

Wherever YOU lead, You will SUCCEED.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

LEADERS EMPOWER PEOPLE

What does it mean to empower? To empower in simple terms is to give somebody a greater sense of confidence or self-esteem. I would be sharing some nuggets about empowering people but first I want to share a personal empowering experience with you. When I was in the university, I was a pretty shy person. I could barely stand in front of a crowd, congregation or an audience to give a speech or a debate. I would be conscious of everything, eyes around me. But it didn't last long because of some crazy leaders who gave  me platforms where I could express myself. Sometimes, I would be asked to go in front of the fellowship to read a write-up or share a testimony. With time I gained ground and was able to stand in front of an audience. It even got better, I served in the position as the secretary general of my fellowship; this required a lot of communication with people. I excelled. Now, that is empowering!

When you become an empowerer, you work with and through people, but you do much more. You enable others to reach the highest levels in their personal and professional development. The act of empowering others changes lives, and it's a win-win situation for you and the people you empower. Giving others your authority isn't like giving away an object, such as your phone, for example. If you give away your phone, you no longer have communication. But empowering others by giving them authority has the same effect as sharing information: You haven't lost anything, you have increased the ability of others without decreasing yourself.

The process of empowering works only when you understand these certain nuggets:

  • POSITION
You cannot empower people whom you don't lead. You can encourage and motivate everybody you meet. You can enlarge or help navigate for anyone with whom you have built a mentoring relationship. But to empower people, you have to be in a position of power over them. The first requisite of empowerment is having a position of authority over the people you want to empower.
  • RELATIONSHIP
To empower people, you must have a relationship with them. A great man shares his greatness by the way he treats little men. Although the people you empower are not "little," they can be made to feel that way if you don't value your relationship with them. Relationship are forged, not formed. They require time and common experience. Your relationship with them should be solid enough for you to lead them. When you value people and your relationship with them, you lay a foundation for empowering others.
  • RESPECT
Relationship cause people to want to be with you, but respect causes them to want to be empowered by you. Mutual respect is essential to the empowerment process. If you want others to respect you, you must show respect to them. Invariably, people will give their love, respect, and attention to the person who fills that need. Consideration for others generally reflects faith in self and faith in others. When you believe i people, care about them, and trust them, they know it. And that respect inspires them to want to follow where you lead.
  • COMMITMENT
The last quality a leader needs to become an empowerer is commitment. Commitment gives new power. The process of empowering others isn't always easy, especially when you start doing it for the first time. It's a road that has many bumps and sidetracks. But it is one that's worth traveling because the rewards are so great. People must believe that a task is inherently worthwhile if they are to be committed to it. Many people neglect to empower others because they are insecure. They are afraid of losing grounds to the people they mentor, they don't want to be replaced or displaced. They are afraid of change. But change is part of empowernment for the people you empower and for yourself. When you empower people, you're not influencing just them; you're influencing all the people they influence. That's impact!

You may already be empowering some people in your life without knowing it. When you entrust your spouse with an important decision and then cheerfully back her up, that's empowering. When you delegate a challenging job to an employee and give her the authority she needs to get it done, you have empowered her.

Remember that all people have the potential to succeed. Your job is to see the potential, find out what they lack to develop it, and equip them with what they need.

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