“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” — Bill Gates
Finding great talent is easy. Finding the right people to work for you is a bit harder. But perhaps the most difficult and rewarding thing a leader can do is to empower future leaders.
The ability to nurture future leaders is what separates great leaders from okay ones. Leadership is not just about having a large number of followers or leading stellar teams, it is also when you can inspire others to be like you, based on your character and habits.
How can we better empower others? Ultimately, it is about including them in the decision-making process and encouraging them to take ownership of the vision. Molding the next generation of leaders takes a lot of courage, wisdom, and responsibility.
But at its core, empowering others is the best way to have future leaders act on their own self-confidence. It allows them to find and develop the right answers on their own, instead of spoon-feeding them what they know.
The first step is to present them with a vision they can connect with and identify with, then challenge them to actively think of ways they can help bring that vision to life. You can present them with chances to be imaginative and daring and to go beyond their comfort zones.
It is also about investing in their talent and ambition. In order to fully empower others, you need to make sure they are well-equipped. It might cost you some time and money, but when done right, it can give more returns in the long run.
Empowering others also means healthy communication with them. You want to encourage them to provide their ideas and even act on those inputs. At the same time, you want to help them navigate how to learn from failures if the ideas didn’t work the first time, or even the second or third time. Help them figure out how to make those failures into bigger successes down the road.
Give them space to figure things out on their own and coach them when they are stuck and need directions. It is both being that little push from behind that they need and being the role model ahead of them to catch up to.
Empowering future leaders requires taking action. When you teach people how to make better decisions, aligned with their values, they feel more comfortable taking action. And as they move forward, they create more confidence that can inspire others.
What are small and big ways you can empower your people today?
Thanks for reading A Brilliant Tribe.