Inspiring Forward Motion

How do you move someone? Like really move someone. If you are in a position of authority you have vested power to move people. To a certain extent you can wield force to get things done your way. Is that really power? Reverse the situation and try using the same tactic. Not so lucky now are we? I am coming from a school that believes that true power comes from reducing it. The more attuned you are to the point of view of another the greater your influence would be on them. Empowerment is a big buzzword in management speak. But how many really exercise it. Freedom to take risks is another fanciful concept that is often talked about in management meetings. But are people really given the freedom to take risks? To truly empower someone is to ensure one as a leader has made sure they have taken the necessary steps to enable the person being empowered. To coach them, not coerce. To inspire and guide them. As Chip and Dan Heath said, draw the map if need be. Show them the path. Take the necessary steps to ensure they are ready to fly. To invest the time and make sure they have learnt to walk first. To communicate clearly to ensure that they know where they truly stand. And not do so in a way that is ridiculing or diminishing in any way. But with clear and concise feedback. To envision an exciting personal and purposeful ideal that they can aspire towards and ensure they are fully enabled. Only once this is done can someone be given the freedom to fly. If they fail, the onus lies on you. You did not make the right judgement call on their readiness. It is easier to blame failure on the person actioning the risk, true leadership is to take full responsibility of the team’s success and failure. And that is how you inspire forward motion in my not-so-humble opinion!

Feature image by Pete used under Creative Commons 2.0 license

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *