Leadership is not just about leading others, and about these others just following the leader. Leadership is also about leading yourself. It is also about empowering others to be leaders as well.
To be empowered to lead is more an individual thing, and it is very personalized what is ‘our empowerment’ to lead – what is our drive, motivation, reason, intention, aspiration, expectation, skill, experience, knowledge, a strive to take the leaders seat and perform as a leader. Others can contribute to this empowerment when they invite, suggest, nominate, or appoint you. Or if people perceive you as a leader type and potential. To some extent, we can reach others by us being ’empowered to lead’. As such we express certain willingness and motivation to achieve, and can motivate others to follow and perform their part. But this is only one part of the equation. If you are there, however, just to be in a leadership position and role, and others are supposed to follow, good luck with that attitude. This approach can only work based on the fear rate; until there is a fear of consequences if not to follow and perform.
It is necessary to add the other part of the equation – ‘to lead to empowering’. This is necessary already today, but it will be even more so in the future. The world is changing so rapidly and we need to find new ways and approaches to tackle these changes to stir transformation and development. These changes require the proper mindset and intention of a leader to be part of a team, to power with others, and to empower individuals to become great leaders who create new leaders. It is and will be a prerequisite for leaders to take responsibility for owning their power to perform and contribute powerfully in collaboration with others. This requires different kinds of relationships and organizations, and a different leadership style and skills.
We, as today’s and future leaders, should ask ourselves: What is the key empowerment element? and What is (still) missing to be empowered to lead powerfully today?