Life-long learners constantly cycle through a developmental process to sharpen their leadership skills. It may be intuitive or it may be intentional. But the 6 steps are real: LEARN-EMPOWER-ASSESS-DECIDE-EVALUATE-REVIEW.

The second step in the leadership developmental process is EMPOWER. The word empower is overused in leadership conversations. It can be a catch-all term that means everything and nothing, at the same time.  In a positive sense, EMPOWER describes what transpires when an apprentice acquires the skills, gains confidence, combined with proven character to establish a team that successfully carries-out a project from inception to completion.

Leaders lead from three positions.  Each position serves a particular purpose.  The three models are progressive, meaning that the most empowering leaders aspire to lead from the Outside so that team members own the outcomes of their actions. 

Here are the three positions that leaders lead from with a description of each: 

  • Center – The Autocrat
  • Fringe – The Team Leader/Coach
  • Outside – The Enabler

As a leader, one thing you must ask is – What is my position?

Here are three questions to ask leaders about the position they lead from:

  1. What position are you currently leading?
  2. Where do you need to move?
  3. How can you make the shift?

Empowering is an important step in the Leadership Development Process. But Empowering in itself is not enough. In fact, going to a workshop, listening to a podcast or even receiving a degree in leadership does not guarantee a person can lead. I’ve found that many people have knowledge but lack the experience of actually leading a team. Applying the knowledge and learning from success as well as failure is critical in the development process.

Questions for your reflection:

  1. Who are you empowering?
  2. How are you helping them increase their capacity to lead?
  3. What possibilities are there for them to take the next step forward?

The next step in the journey to develop as a leader is – Assess. Assess team members to help them clarify “whats next”. This is where we will pick-up next week.

InFocus is responding to the need to help leaders empower their team through our Live Courses called Collectives.  Learn about the 2019 Collectives.  Each Collective will engage you in the 6 Step Leadership Development process above.

Related Leadership Development Resource:

Effective Leadership Storyboard


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