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As I continue to review “The Leadership Challenge” I will now discuss the fourth practice of exemplary leaders as outlined by the authors Kouzes and Posner: Enable Others to Act. As a leader a really important practice is developing your people and enabling them to learn under you, take chances, and eventually become a leader as well.
Building trust as a leader is a key component of enabling others to act. It shows that you can let go of control, allow your employees to take some risks and develop their own talents, and thrive in your organization. As a leader you can show this trust by enabling increased collaboration among your team, encourage communication and team building, and enhance interactions by supporting in person meetings/events, etc.
Leaders show that they can be trusted by leading by example by opening up first, and showing they support others. At the end of the day leaders have more power by giving power up to others.
The second way that leaders can enable others to act is to strengthen others by increasing their self-confidence through an enhancement of competence. Leaders can also strengthen others by giving them choices on how to do things, holding them accountable, and allowing them to determine for themselves the right course of action. Exemplary leaders take time to teach and coach their employees to eventually be leaders as well.
An old boss of mine used to tell me that I should always be developing the next person to take over my job. That stuck with me because it reminded me to invest in my team and build them up while it also encouraged me to build my skills so that I could move up to the next level as well.
What are you doing these days to enable others to act? Are you coaching and teaching your employees? Are you trusting them to take steps and build their skills? Are you giving them the freedom to fail and learn from their mistakes? If not what can you starting doing to enable others to act?
Monica Thakrar has over 14 years experience in business focused mainly on strategy, change management, leadership development, training and coaching resulting in successful implementations of large scale transformation programs.