Empowered Does Not Mean Unguided

All too often leaders make the mistake of confusing empowerment with a lack of guidance. Probably one of the most overused terms in leadership is “empowerment.”

Of course, it is. Leaders want to be seen as those who successfully lead their team to imminent success, hailed by their team members as a great leader for letting them do their jobs with hands off vigor.

Okay so that’s exaggerating. But there are important distinctions between micromanagement and completely hands off.

In another post I talked about business parenting and how the empowering leader must provide guidelines. Never hearing from your boss is not empowerment.

Showing your team the business unit’s goal and giving them the authority and the resources to achieve the goal is empowerment. Guiding their plan without changing every step and teaching them to seek excellence is also empowerment. Allowing them to make low-risk mistakes while simultaneously encouraging very visible celebration of their success is also very empowering.

Encouraging, supporting, guiding, accepting, giving authority…are all synonyms of empowering.

The boss only wins when the team wins should be the motto of business groups.

Make sure your team feels empowered. And properly guided.

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