Leaders are decision makers. I heard someone say, “The leader gets paid the big bucks not to make the most decisions but to make the tough decisions.” However, there are some leaders who feel it’s their job too make most of the decisions and as a result hinder the development of those on their team. If you want to help potential leaders in your organization grow then give them some decisions to wrestle with. When you allow others to make decisions you GIVE them a gift and you GET great benefit.
When you give them the power to make decisions you’re GIVING them…
- the opportunity to feel greater contribution and ownership
- a greater sense of confidence
- a greater feeling that you trust their judgment
- the opportunity to gain leadership credibility among others in the organization
- experience, experience, experience
On the other hand you GET…
- the opportunity to watch how they make decisions and see their leadership potential
- the chance to coach them before, during and after the decision
- leaders who are increasingly confident to make more difficult decisions
- a potential successor who could one day take your place
What decisions can you give away this week? Who will you allow to make the decision? Why? (Remember that Why is just as important as What and Who)
As leaders we want to see our team member’s commitment at the highest level possible. But sometimes it’s the leader himself that puts a lid on an individual’s level of commitment.
When a leader refuses to let go and empower his team members he’s slowly siphoning commitment from their veins. People want to be contributors, they want to be trusted, they want to grow and they want to use their strengths to contribute to the overall mission. So when we refuse to empower them we’re the ones putting the lid on their level of commitment.
In Luke 10 Jesus had 72 men who had been following him, studying him, assisting him and learning to do ministry. Then at a critical point in his mission, Jesus empowered them to go out and do ministry on their own, Luke 10:1 says, “The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.”
Now understand the risk Jesus was taking as a leader.
- There was a high risk of failure. This would not be an easy assignment. Jesus warned them, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.”
- There was a risk they would damage the mission. Notice that Jesus was sending them to “every town and place he was about to go.” He was having them lay the ground work for his future work in those cities. The impression they would make would directly impact the reception Jesus would receive in those towns.
- There was a risk the job wouldn’t be done with excellence. There is no question that Jesus would do a better job than any one of those 72 men, he knew that and they knew that as well.
Regardless of the risks, Jesus chose to step aside and let them lead. And because of his confidence in them these men rose to the occasion, demonstrated a high level of commitment and took on the challenge. Lesson # 4 for raising commitment level…Get out of the way and entrust and empower your people. It’s a risk, but your trust in your team will ignite a fire in their hearts that will inspire them to give their best.
“I’ll just do it myself.” These words flow off our tongue with such ease. We don’t really think about it when we say it. It just sort of comes naturally to us. But there’s a lot of POWER in these words. When we say, “I’ll do it myself” we’re most likely thinking, “I want to do things my way, in my timing, with my style.” These words give me the POWER. If we are honest that’s usually why we say “I’ll just do it myself” because it gives us the POWER of Control.
But consider the impact on those hearing these words. While it may give us as the leader the POWER of Control…these same words have the POWER to Crush a follower. When we look at someone and say, “I’ll just do it myself.” We are in essence saying, “I don’t believe in you, I don’t trust you, I don’t think you can do it, I don’t have confidence in you.” And those words have the Power to Crush a follower and permanently damage their sense of leadership confidence.
Think hard before you say, “I’ll just do it myself.” You might just find that the more powerful statement is, “Why dont you do it and let me know if you need any help.” Trusting and empowering someone has incredible POWER to build a persons leadership confidence and leadership competency.
Are you using your words to get power or empower? Who can you empower today?