Empowerment Comes From Within


Empowerment is a term regarding a business management style where managers give staff members the power to make certain decisions within boundaries.

This is a definition of empowerment:

  • Empowerment is the process of enabling or authorizing an employee to think, behave, and take action, and control work and decision-making in autonomous way with the job tasks that have been given to them.

What does empowerment actually look like in the workplace and what are the benefits of giving it to employees and do you really give it to them?

According to Captain David Marquet the author of “Turn The Ship Around”, “People are already empowered.  What you, as a leader do, is give them the voice and authority to exercise the empowerment they naturally have.”

To sum it up, it is the state of feeling self-empowered to take control of one’s employment responsibilities.  Captain Marquet further states, “If it takes the boss to empower them, the boss can un-empower them and that is not very powerful.” 

If you have hired the right people for the job you must trust them.  Working with them so they understand their boundaries and what their job tasks and ultimate daily, weekly and overall goals are it is crucial to allow them to do what they know they must to complete them.  You let them do their work.

Empowerment if truly implemented properly will build relationships between business owners, their managers and team members as it spreads the responsibility of ownership for the business among all team players.

The concept of empowerment is not entirely new, for years businesses have engaged in what is called “participation management.”  Empowerment carries this idea a step beyond that concept by not only allowing team members to participate in decision-making but they also are empowered to make decisions on their own without seeking approval from higher management within certain boundaries of their job position.

Empowerment allows for the whole team to contribute in moving the business forward successfully.  By eliciting everyone’s input regarding new projects or making the office fun and more efficient you’re likely to pick up ideas that may not have been thought of if it were just the owner or manager running the show alone.

If you have not read Captain David Marquet’s book I suggest you do it not only is amazing what he and his Naval team accomplished it has practical applications for a leader of any sized group.  I had the wonderful opportunity to sit and talk with Captain Marquet a couple of years ago when he was the KeyNote Speaker at our conference, and I still review the notes that I took often. He gave such valuable pearls to have in my treasure chest of leadership.

Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by David Marquet


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