The concept of leadership empowerment, especially in organizations, is widely used today, mainly when discussing cooperation, growth, development, and organizational leadership.
When we hear or read about empowerment, our mind goes automatically to autonomy. However, what is the real meaning of empowerment in leadership?
In this article, you will learn what it is and how it relates to leadership.
What is leadership?
Leadership is the set of skills that a certain person must possess to influence the way of thinking or acting of other individuals, motivating them to carry out their tasks efficiently.
Leaders help others achieve their goals using different tools, such as charisma and confidence.
They have the ability to socialize with others, take the initiative, and offer innovative ideas, etc.
Leadership is a set of managerial skills a person possesses to influence the way of acting or being, of the individuals or group of individuals of a certain job, motivating this team to work enthusiastically to accomplish big goals for themselves and the company.
What is leadership empowerment?
Leadership Empowerment does not have a concrete concept. However, depending on the interpretation, we can say that empowerment is:
- The process by which people strengthen their capacities, confidence, vision, and leadership as part of a social group promotes positive changes in the situations in which they live.
- When people and organized groups have autonomy in decision-making and exercise control over their lives based on free access to information, inclusive participation, accountability, and capacity building.
- The process of change in which people gain access to power and, as a result, transform relationships within an organization regardless of the rank or status of the individual within it.
How does empowerment influence leadership?
Developing an empowering leadership culture can be tricky.
Leaders are influenced by factors, including the external environment, such as strategic ambitions, challenges, individual personalities, capabilities, and team dynamics. These factors interrelate and must be clear to understand and identify opportunities and obstacles that prevent a culture of empowerment.
Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great” explains how to empower leaders to achieve long-term sustainable financial and people results. Another book, “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni, reveals that there is no open communication without trust, which leads to less commitment, lack of responsibility, a culture without power, and poor results.
“The key to all of this is trust. Trust is the oil and glue of the team, and, indeed, of the entire organization,” — Erik Hiep.
Erik Hiep believes there are three levels of trust in organizations:
- Believe in themselves and the team.
- Align the different teams in the organization.
- Reputation (to keep promises, for example).
Everyone wants to be trusted, and when that happens, we trust others in response.
“To build a strong team, you need strong people,” continues Hiep. “Strong people need self-confidence, and building this is a ‘super dynamic’ process.”
This makes it difficult to manage because there is a fine line between self-confidence and arrogance.
Developing and managing self-confidence in an organization’s workforce poses a challenge for both business leaders who know that the quality of business leaders can build (or destroy) people’s self-confidence.
Empowering leadership builds sturdy people, creates strong teams, powerful organizations, and strong results.
Following this “solid results” model of “build the person, build the team and build the organization” to help your organization be successful, L&D professionals should always ask, ‘where does it hurt?’ so that they can identify the area in the business that needs to change.
If you have an authority position in a company, learning how to become an influential leader is a must. The great news is, the skills and qualities required for leadership empowerment are learnable.
All you need is the will to take action now. Time and practice will turn you into the leader you know you are.