Empowerment and delegation are often confused within the business world. Giving someone a task and trusting in the talent at your disposal are two different things....There are times when delegation is required, there are times when empowerment is a necessity.
Empowerment is not about the loss of control, it is about gaining control through the loyalty of employee engagement. The irony is that by empowering you gain more time and with good time management you gain control of your business through better strategic management.
For me delegation is about a specific task or duty.
For me empowerment is about trust in the talent of those around you to think, to innovate, to react to what the market requires.
Empowerment is not abdication, empowerment is not replacing leadership...far from it....empowerment is recognising that in a networked economy and that leadership is about powering the engine not driving the car yourself!
For empowerment to work, you need to have
- The right talent....with an emphasis on attitude, values, cultural fit rather than skill that should be a given.
- The right communication...with an emphasis on emotional engagement....it is not enough to explain the what....you must engage through the why and the how.
- The right vision...not in terms of fixed never changing but in clarity of where you are going with the flexibility of how you will get there.
- The right recognition...with an emphasis on a culture that looks for why you can do something, not why you can't...with an emphasis on seeing what has gone right rather than just what went wrong....with an emphasis on recognising people who respond to the empowerment not just in doing the right things, but in the right way.