In Monday Memo

This week’s focus:

Empowerment takes responsibility!

Interestingly, I find a lot of leaders and managers suffer from what has been termed the “myth of omnipotence”. By this I mean that they are convinced that “I am the only one who can do this properly the first time” and so they take on more and more until they are totally swamped and overwhelmed.

Often they derail under the pressure. And often they decide, under the guise of wanting to empower, to “delegate” by passing on work to their team members with vague instructions like “won’t you sort this out for me, please”. Often the “delegatee” lacks the competence to deal with the level of work required (and only vaguely requested)!

When we delegate or wish to empower we need to take responsibility for four things:

  1. Firstly, that we delegate to someone with the requisite level of competence to do the work, or learn to do the task;
  2. Then we need to give them full instructions as to what is expected of them, and ensure they are on the same page;
  3. We need to give them the appropriate level of support, guidance and coaching that is needed to help that specific individual do the task and learn from the experience; and
  4. Finally, we need to ensure that the individual accepts responsibility not only for doing the task but also for learning in the process.

Try these steps with each of your team members and witness how you are able to maximise delivery and growth in the process!

Monday Morning Perspective: “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln

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