This morning I heard a talk about empowering our children and all that involves. This got me thinking about the responsibility of empowering the level below us through our organizations and then the level above us, reaching down to do the same.
It is the responsibility as an executive to reach to the management level of our organization and empower that level in order to make decisions that reach beyond their level for the good of the company mission.
This seems like a basic idea, this idea of mentoring, or paying it forward, but it involves more than that. To empower, really means to grant the power to initiate initiative? Can you ask yourself if you are “mentoring” this in your management style? Or as a manager are you really allowing your direct reports to initiate new processes or develop new strategy that may affect your team?
I think this is a stretch for some of us, and partly due to the way most companies are structured, our organizational charts are mostly linear. I think by virtue of the fact that we have “levels” within our companies, there is an implied idea that certain levels work within their level in all things. And no one executes “above” their respective level at least not without approval or collaboration. And although there are teams created with team members belonging to multiple levels, where team communicate and execute it is still within a single funnel that reports up.
So the challenge here is simple, look at each member of your team as someone who might have that just right idea that they present because they feel completely accepted and empowered to do so. Their idea might change the course of your business.
Embrace empowerment from the ground up if you are able!