I originally wrote this article in 2003, but it's theme is exactly what I discussed with a leadership group last week as we discussed my book, Something Needs to Change Around Here: The Five Stages to Leveraging Your Leadership and in particular Stage 2 Leadership. In Stage 2, if you don't let go, others can't do the work. I hope you enjoy this post from my archives.
The old adage, “You're only as strong as the people around you” is true. Yet so many of us in management tend to forget it, and in doing so we weaken our own management and leadership power bases.
Many of us fall into the trap of hoarding power, even when we don’t think we are. We hoard our power by limiting the information we share. We hoard it by not delegating the authority, as well as the responsibility, for projects. We hoard it by interacting with only a select group of key employees. The problem with hoarding power is that one person can effectively control just so much power. There’s a point at which one person can focus and manage effectively. This point, once reached, will limit how much and how effectively the organization will grow and operate. This point, once reached, also marks the limit of our management and leadership power.
To ensure your ability and your limits for management effectiveness and power continue to grow – give some of your power away. What! Give away a limited resource! Are you nuts! Maybe. But give power to those around you and you’ll see your organization surpass its former limitations.
Share the appropriate information with the appropriate personnel so they can learn and take on additional responsibilities. Delegate the authority as well as the responsibility for projects to give others the opportunities to learn and to experience the true highs and lows of project management. Give power to those outside your normal select group to identify prospective new key players. Give others the opportunities to become powerful in their own rights. The stronger they become; the stronger you become.
Empower your people. Leverage your power. Grow a powerful organization.
If you'd like to learn more about this grab my book:
Something Needs to Change Around Here:
The Five Stages to Leveraging Your Leadership
Copyright MMIII Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC.