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Do You Empower Others?

By: Dave Berkus


Group therapy, peer support and psychology session. Trust, unity and empathy concept. Empowering community. Hope, help and friendship. Team empowerment. Happy people sitting in circle holding hands.

As a leader for your team or business, it is important for you to build consensus in most every major decision. To do that, you must be able to relinquish some degree of power, overriding decisions made by consensus only with some thought and certainly with an explanation to those involved.

Never fear empowering others

If you’re secure in your position, you should never fear empowering direct reports to make decisions that fall within the resources allocated to them and within the budget agreed to with them.

Why not to be a micro-manager

A micro-manager cannot cede that kind of authority, even within pre-arranged limits, and as a result meddles with decisions made by direct reports, removing authority from each whenever one of those moves are made, and rendering the individual one degree more impotent in the eyes of that person’s reports.

Helping your direct reports empower others

On the other hand, a great CEO or manager not only empowers his or her direct reports, s/he directs those people to do the same with their reports down the line. Of course you do this within limits that should seem obvious: financial impact has been provided for within the plan; and no other individuals or departments are affected negatively by such an empowered action without notice and involvement.

Helping your direct reports grow in their positions

The more power you cede, the more you become a teacher and the more your direct reports grow in their positions. Further, the more you share your decisions, the more you prepare those below to assume your position if ever necessary or appropriate.

Doing it right to help your organization scale and grow

If you cannot or will not empower your direct reports, you must ask yourself: what’s the deal? If it is insecurity that is the root cause, then the best course of action is to share the power even more quickly, as you’ll look and feel more like the group is supportive of you and your position. If you are a micro-manager and are unwilling to allow those below to fail, even with more minor decisions, then you are restricting their growth in their positions, certainly causing dissatisfaction in their ranks, and missing the most important opportunities to enable scaling your organization to a much larger size.

Published: April 10, 2020

Source: Berkonomics

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Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus is a noted speaker, author and early stage private equity investor. He is acknowledged as one of the most active angel investors in the country, having made and actively participated in over 87 technology investments during the past decade. He currently manages two angel VC funds (Berkus Technology Ventures, LLC and Kodiak Ventures, L.P.) Dave is past Chairman of the Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest angel networks in the United States. Dave is author of “Basic Berkonomics,” “Berkonomics,” “Advanced Berkonomics,” “Extending the Runway,” and the Small Business Success Collection. Find out more at Berkus.com or contact Dave at dberkus@berkus.com

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