Power of Empowerment

March 19, 2018 0 Comments

Ask Followers to Think Big

By Dr. Paul L. Gerhardt, PhD

As a leader, it is natural that you will gain followers. The better the leader you are, the greater your following will be. It is the duty of a great leader to empower their followers and guide them in the right direction. For example, while leading a team of 5 the task of decision making and problem solving should not be burdened on the leader’s shoulders alone. It is part of the responsibilities of the leader to teach the other members how to shoulder some of the work and complete it themselves. In a similar way, the manager at an office empowers his/her employers so that they can take some of the decisions by themselves. In today’s article we are going to discuss why followers should be asked to think big and how to help them do so.

Power of Empowerment - Supervision Essentials

If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Teach him how to run a fish farm and you feed a whole village for a lifetime. In the same way, if you tell your followers what to do, you are not helping them in the long run. Instead teach them ways, through which they can achieve the same level of success, show them new roads and you are inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs, social workers and business men. Use your own experiences to inspire them on how to think outside the box, how to think big. Only a man who refuses to believe that something is impossible can set out to make it possible. Below are a few ways to inspire your followers:

1.      Share your life experiences with them.  By experiences I mainly mean the obstacles and difficulties and the way you stayed strong and overcame them. Followers need to know that working towards something big will lead them across many pitfalls and rough patches. It is only through their faith and determination they will be able to succeed.

2.      Let them carry responsibility.  In order for a person to come up with ideas about something they need to be out in the field and gaining on-hand experience on it. Once the person becomes familiar with the requirements, responsibilities, and difficulties associated with a task they will be able to come up with solutions to improve it.

3.      Enable your followers to make the small decisions first.  Before asking them to come up with something big, its best to at first let your followers carry out small tasks or make small decisions by themselves. For example, it’s not easy for a person to directly come up with a concept for a whole new office branch, just because you asked them to. Instead, ask them to for example come up with new marketing ideas to promote a product and get a specific number sold in time. Once they gain confidence, the big thoughts will soon follow.

Empowering others is one of the main responsibilities of a good leader. It is their duty as human beings to share their knowledge and help make the leaders of the future.  Every leader must recognize that it is human nature to want to grow. By empowering people to make decisions and also make mistakes, it allows employees to be human and add value to the organization. A leader must of course recognize that making mistakes is part of life’s journey. Mistakes lead to new solutions, greater creativity, and innovation.

Do you empower people or take people’s power away? Consider that for the day.
Dr. Paul Gerhardt is a tenured professor of management, diversity and leadership lecturer/trainer and the author of several publications available on Amazon.com, including Diversity at Work and the new Leadership Handbook. Consider inviting Dr. Paul Gerhardt to do customized leadership or diversity training at your organization. Most organizations find that diversity and leadership training by the right trainer has a significant instant return on investment. You can get your FREE COPY of the Leadership Handbook by clicking this link: http://bit.ly/LeadershipHandbook


Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.