It is no secret that a great leader is one who leads by example. To be a good leader, one must embody certain characteristics including integrity, intelligence, loyalty, confidence and of course, the ability to lead. One of the most important qualities of an exceptional leader is the ability to empower others.
The ability to empower others is a talent and skill that doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and not all leaders recognize the importance of empowering their team. Leaders who delegate responsibility and relinquish some power to employees are much more successful than those who don’t.
Many managers struggle with the concept of empowering their team, not because they don’t want to develop their colleagues, but because they have difficulty relinquishing power. After working so hard to make your way to the top, it’s understandable to have an, “I can handle it”, attitude. However, trying to take everything on yourself is not healthy for your business, and it is not conducive to a healthy team environment. Also, this limits your growth. As one person, you can only handle so much. By allowing others to take the lead, you are able to focus on bigger things in order to grow a business.
There are countless benefits to empowering your team. In order to empower your team, you must delegate tasks and responsibilities. This will take some weight and stress off of your shoulders and free up some of your time so you can focus your attention on other projects. Managers tend to overload their plates and take on too much at one time. Multitasking causes us to spread ourselves too thin and our work often suffers because of it. By delegating responsibilities, you can focus your attention on fewer tasks and increase the quality of your work.
In addition to increasing productivity, empowering your employees builds mutual trust between you and your team. If you never give your team the opportunity to take the reigns, they’ll never have the chance to prove that they are capable. By holding back opportunities for your team to demonstrate their competence, it sends the message that you don’t have confidence in them. Nothing deflates company morale quite like a team that feels like their leader has no faith in them.
In contrast, when you give responsibility to your team, you convey the message that you have complete faith and trust that they can get the job done. When employees feel that their managers trust them, they are much more likely to perform and are happy to do so. In turn, when your team consistently meets or goes above expectations, your trust in them continues to grow and you become more comfortable with entrusting them with more responsibilities.
Another way to empower your team is by asking for their advice. Sometimes it’s best to get out of our own way and ask for feedback from others when it comes to our business and leadership style. There’s no better group to ask than the people you work closest with! By asking your team for their feedback, you are showing that you respect and value their opinion and that you aren’t afraid of a little constructive criticism.
Empowering your team creates more leaders. One of the best things you can pass on to your team members is how they can mold themselves into leaders, too. Who is a better example to learn from than someone who climbed the rungs themselves? Don’t keep all of those valuable secrets to yourself; share the wealth! Chances are, you had some great mentors who helped you get where you are today. Now is your opportunity to pay it forward. Empower your team by telling the do’s and don’t of leadership and help pave the way for others who are striving to make it to the top.
Empowering your team has an incredible effect on team morale and confidence. All of these perks go hand in hand and spark a continuos cycle of positivity and mutual gain for you, your team and your business!