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2 Sides of Empowerment

There are two sides of empowerment, and you quickly jumped to the first one. You know how demotivating it is to be told to do something and not empowered to do it. It could be even a state mandate of provide education, but we’re not gonna give ya any money, right, I mean it can be anything.

It’s the same in organizations, it’s the same as your calling your superintendent, or the principal, or teachers, or students to do something. If I want them to do something, if I don’t empower them with what they need, that’s very demotivating.

There’s another side though, and this is where I see lazy leadership all the time. And this is a leader, or a board, not empowering the right people publicly. What happens? I’m the leader, this right here is the team. I go up to, what’s your name? Harry, okay, I go up to Harry and I say, Harry, you’ve got this, I believe in you, you’ve got this project, you’re gonna do a great job with it, and I walk away feeling like I did a great job as a leader.

That’s lazy, if they have a flat org chart, I as leader must bestow my leadership on them. So I’m gonna go to, what was your name? Marty, I’m gonna go to Marty, and in front of everybody, I’m gonna say Marty, Marty’s got this project, we’re all on it right, we’re with Marty on this project, and we got his back, so Marty we’re with you. Marty’s got this. And in essence I bestow leadership on Marty publicly. And what happens? In the first case I get out of it. I don’t wanna do it publicly because then I can make it all his fault, Harry’s fault. In the second case I bestowed leadership on him, so if he wins, I can give him the credit, and if he loses, I’m with him on the downside.