You don’t drown by falling in water; you only drown if you stay there ~ Zig Ziglar
Need for Empowering Leadership
Our planet appears to have spurned out of its course in terms of stability and many people don’t know what to do next, as the fear of known and unknown forces play havoc on their minds. Someone recently drove this point home in a rather ironic way by suggesting that the only safe place now for anyone is heaven, but in reality not many people want to die and go to heaven in a hurry. I suppose that means that the only choice for the living is to build more capacity and increase resilience, in order to adapt to the tough times now and in the future. That is one of the critical purposes of visionary and inspirational leadership.
Build Individual Capacity
The greatest leaders are those that support people to build capacity by stretching themselves through their positive belief, improved personal awareness and increased energy, to do what people regard as nearly impossible. And, not only must they be able to achieve these feats, they must be able to do so repeatedly and enthusiastically each time.
There are no better ways to empower people than this, and the special role that a true leader gives himself, is that of empowering people, by teaching, training, coaching and modelling them. Leadership may begin with employing a person, but it reaches its zenith by empowering that person. That is what empowering leadership is all about.
Model Selfless Leadership
The important point that needs to be made here is that empowering leadership is possible only when the leader is determined to be selfless. When and where that happens, people would always respond with equal selflessness and loyalty. As a leader, you must therefore start to build your team by carefully choosing the people that show promise that they would be teachable and trainable. It is those people that you should thereafter expose to the soft skills development processes of coaching and mentoring, as you remain a leader that is worthy of being modelled by his protégés.
As a leader, you will need to focus on transformation of the core values, behaviours, attitudes, beliefs and capacities of your people, essentially because you know that each individual in your team has great potentials to succeed. It is a belief that people can be what they want to be in life, if they have the right environment to express themselves, and a believing leader that would facilitate the unleashing of their genius.
Challenge to Change
As a leader for all seasons therefore, you must challenge your people to stretch themselves well beyond their limits and comfort zones. You must focus them on issues that would make them – reach for things that are ordinarily well beyond their grasp. The truth is that they would never want to do this, but as a leader acting also as their coach, making them believe in the ultimate benefit for them and the influence they would wield as a result is a realistic currency of motivation. The interesting thing is that they would eventually love what they are doing and also love you for making them do it.
That is what develops their minds, as they have to think of ways and means of achieving the set goals, as long as they have the belief that they can achieve, and retain a strong focusing system along the way.
To truly succeed in life, people must face reality and they must face it on a sound moral and spiritual basis. As you face the challenges of management today and get ready for the bigger ones ahead, you must practise integrity in all that you do. Start with yourself as the leader and be sure to model integrity, not only in the workplace put also beyond there. Practise it alone and practise it with your top team. Let integrity be the one thing that no one would be unsure of whether you have or do not have. The key is to be transparent to the point of people acknowledging that you are indeed a trustworthy and competent leader. Let people experience what you have experienced as a leader.
Promote Experiential Learning
Experiential learning overshadows classroom style learning. This is because experiential learning engages the head, heart and body of the learners. What is learnt only with the head is hardly ever sustainable. It is not to be compared with what is inspired from the inside of a person through passion. That is more transformational and sustainable, because it is from the heart – the core of the person. Therefore, as an all season leader, you must teach, train and coach your people to be above the fray of questionable morals, behaviours and actions. That is one of the characteristics of a strong all-seasons’ team.
Tell me your thoughts about empowering leadership by leaving a comment.