Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Delegation and Empowerment

 The servant leaders I know have mastered the art of empowerment.

So how do you empower a team, not just delegate tasks to them?  In my experience, I learned the leader should delegate with these six behaviors:

  1. Offer Guidance - Give your teammates the training necessary; cast the vision and educate them on the purpose of the assignment. Understanding the context of their work will enable them to innovate and find alternate solutions to problems themselves. It's also likely you'll need to provide some course correction along the way.

  2. Provide Resources - Don't assume your team has the knowledge and access to get what they need. Your perspective, and perhaps position, may allow you to see more of the landscape; anticipate potential needs and acquire what's needed.

  3. Lay out the Timeline - Establish a deadline and milestones along the way for which the team will be accountable to you, with the understanding that ultimate accountability for success remains with you.

  4. Mitigate Barriers - Your team will encounter problems along the way. Issues with organizational processes; conflicts with other interests and internal friction are just a few of the realities your team may need you to address.

  5. Demonstrate Confidence - If you believe in your folks, they'll believe in themselves. Your team will also be keenly aware of how you feel about the value of the initiative and whether you are confident about success.

  6. Acknowledge and Support Efforts - Keep pace with your team's progress with appropriate recognition and reward along the way. Genuine and specific acknowledgement of milestone achievements will encourage more of them.

Without these six actions, any intended empowerment is really just delegation.

Once you've got empowerment down, you're striding easier down that now not-so-rocky path; you've got a handle on secure, self-confident leadership and you're turning the corner toward the golden milestone of true servant leadership.



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