Teach Them How to Fish | Empowering Others

August 22, 2022

Teach Them How to Fish | Empowering Others

“Give a man a fish you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”—(widely attributed to) Laozi

The origin of this old adage has been widely attributed to Laozi (or Lao Tsu), but others contest that it is of Native American, Italian, Indian, or Biblical origins. Wherever it may have originated from, this age-old wisdom still rings true in our world today.

Helping others, giving to charity, donating to causes, and giving back to the community are all wonderful acts of kindness. However, most of the time, people do these things for publicity, to stroke their ego, or to make them feel good about themselves. Not that it is wrong to do a good thing and pat yourself on the back for it. If it isn’t hurting others, you do you.

But when it comes to leadership, real kindness, at least for me, comes when we empower other people. It is when we help others become the best versions of themselves and help them grow as individuals that we make a difference.

Our values and philosophies shape our purpose and mission as leaders. For me, it is a religion. It might not be the same for you. But I believe that there is someone greater out there that I report to, so the set of rules I abide by helps guide me, as a person, as a leader, as a husband and father, etc.

It is the same guiding principle that led me to adopt my personal mission to lead with kindness and empower others to lead by teaching them, equipping them, and hopefully having them realize that it is also their duty to lead, and to lead with kindness.

As leaders, especially in business, our goal is to make sure that everyone is functioning well at an individual level. Only when everyone is aligned towards the same goal, equipped with everything they need, and empowered to act and make decisions within their roles, responsibilities, and expertise, can the whole team function fluidly.

And when your team functions this well, guess what happens? Your productivity goes up, your culture improves, and everyone’s morale is great.

If you just hand them everything and dictate how things should be done, you are setting yourself up to fail. 

When you fail to empower others, you are setting yourself up for failure.

So, think. How are you empowering others today? Have a great day, and thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.