Traditional managers leverage on authority to accomplish tasks. Their people management style is more directive and they instruct more than they listen.

These managers often take on the “expert” role with all the solutions. Although this approach may produce results, it could lead to employees having less initiative. Over time, this could stifle the creativity of the employees to think out of the box.

Contemporary leaders empower employees and provide them with space and control to define and manage their tasks. Empowered employees are encouraged to make decisions and are usually given the autonomy to innovate and create their own solutions. They are more motivated to take ownership.

Attaching power to responsibility, the leader must ensure that the power delegated is not misplaced.

A leader needs to “walk the talk” and communicate clearly to provide transparency and clarity on their goals, context and roles. This will give them the autonomy to explore possibilities within the context boundaries.

Leaders should also fit them into the right roles and tasks which leverage on their strengths, and provide them with the necessary resources and support through constant “real time” feedbacks.

If you are worried about loosening the reins of control, you should review your hiring process. Simply, trust precedes empowerment. You should trust the people you hired before they are empowered.

The above excerpt is our weekly compilation of ideas for business leaders in the areas of people management, leadership, and workplace happiness. 

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