3 Tips for Empowering Yourself and Others

Leader Empowering othersDo you have something big inside you, but just can’t seem to get it out? Is there someone in your life, either at home or at work, who you know has great potential, but can’t seem to realize it? A big part of a leader’s job is to draw the best out of the people around them–including themselves. Here are a few tips for enabling yourself and others to translate potential into to results.

1. Discipline. Most people consider discipline in a negative light–all they see is what they can’t do. The real power of discipline is in its positive side–all that it allows you to do. Discipline exists to let good things run free and wild. True freedom come from discipline. Disciplining yourself and others–by setting boundaries, scheduling time, devoting resources–allows you to focus your attention, talents, and efforts. Then you are free to do what you truly want to do.

2. Education. Learning is one of the most important disciplines. In order to fully realize potential, you’ll have to add knowledge, skills, and experience. Don’t expect your people to do their best if you don’t equip them with the training they need to perform. And don’t expect your potential to spring forth in a final draft; it takes time to hone your skills and build your confidence. This could come from formal schooling, from the school of hard knocks, or from both. Either way, your education is the house your realized potential will live in.

3. Trust. Underneath all the discipline and behind all the education, you’ve got to believe. As leaders we need to approach the potential we sense in others–and in ourselves–with as much certainty as we can muster. What you really believe is always revealed in how you act. If you truly believe in someone, you’ll trust them with greater responsibility. If you truly believe in yourself, you’ll step out and go for it. Look for the opportunity to put your trust to the test.

What have I missed? How do you empower yourself or others?

4 thoughts on “3 Tips for Empowering Yourself and Others”

  1. Great post. We may have talked about this before in person, but i definitely believe discipline is an expression of self confidence. To wait, to hold back for a better opportunity, shows that you believe you are capable again in the future. You will maximize the opportunities and save your strength for them. I think inherent in that self confidence is the need for a leader to forgive himself and his subordinates for taking good risks that might fail.

    1. Great point about the relationship between discipline and self-confidence. I believe that self-confidence comes from trusting who you are, what you know, and what you can do. The more you trust yourself the more freedom you’ll give yourself (and others) to fail.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Geoff,

    Thanks for your post and a great list of ways to empower yourself and others.

    I’ll add, Look beyond what another currently is to what they could be. The power of “could be” is unleashed by seeing greatness in others and then communicate it to them. In addition, offer to help them achieve their untapped greatness. I find this useful with younger leaders who are consumed with the present and aren’t taking the time to look into their long range future.

    Best to you.

    Leadership Freak
    Dan Rockwell

    1. Thanks, Dan – insightful as always.

      This reminds me of the calling of Gideon in Judges 6. Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress because he was scared of the Midianites. God shows up and addresses him as “Mighty Warrior.” I can just see Gideon, caught in this cowardly act, looking around to see who God was really talking to!

      I believe that’s how we call forth untapped greatness: Steer your eyes toward the potential greatness in others, then interact with them in accordance with what you see.

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