4 Benefits of Empowering People in an Organization

I once asked a leader in a company whether we could use a room in their building for a meeting. He wasn’t the senior leader, but was in the chain of management. It seemed to be a very small request, especially since our organization was a huge client of this company. I had been in their building dozens of times and really never saw this room used at all.

I have held leadership positions in larger organizations and smaller organizations. This  would have been a minor decision in any of those places.

This leader, however, had to pass the decision up a chain of command that took weeks to answer. He kept apologizing for the delay, but said it was standard procedure. Eventually I received a yes answer, but it took a great deal of time through several layers of people to get there. By the time we got the answer, I didn’t need it anymore.

True story.

It reminded me of the benefits of empowering leaders in an organization.

Giving people the power to make a decision does four things:

1. It expedites good service for the customer.
2. It encourages leadership development within the organization.
3. It increases the productivity of the organization.
4. It keeps from frustrating customers/clients like me.

Does your organization need to release power to others?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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  • Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ronedmondson: Here are 4 Benefits of Empowering Leaders for the Organization http://is.gd/aLNzO

  • ronedmondson says:

    The interaction challenges my thoughts…I like that…You ask good questions and that probably makes you a valuable team player.

  • patriciazell says:

    My school district is very good at empowering staff to participate in leadership. My principal most always runs things by us to allow us to give her feedback. I am blessed to work in a district that is so supportive of its teachers.

    • I love that. It’s more rare in governmental agencies to see that

      • Felix Zara says:

        Hello Ron Edmondson,

        The first day I receive your message when we met each other unknowingly is all shock for both of us.But as time goes we come to understand each other better.May God continue giving you more wisdom and knowledge in posting us much ideas.And what you are doing to me personal is 80% perfect.

  • Mike Wagner says:

    Ron, your story is almost a parable capturing the experience of many within all kinds of organizations.

    I might add to your list, "it encourages your brightest and best leaders to stay with the organization."

    Why stay if you haven't any power to act?

    Do you see bright leaders leaving due to situations like the one you describe?

    Keep creating…a story worth repeating,

  • Ron, this is a great post, and a funny but sad story. But to what extent do you empower your leaders? And what is a good way help them understand the boundries? The reason I ask is because Michael Hyatt on his blog today tells a story of how a leader apparently felt empowered to promise something that he was not empowerd to do.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Mason, I had to email your comment to my friend Michael Hyatt. I chuckled when I read it, because obviously his wisdom would trump my wisdom, and I read his post after mine posted. This is a great question though. This brings into play the balance of wisdom and the balance of delegating. There are some areas, such as in the area of major purchases, that in a relatively new organization such as ours I cannot completely empower to others. This brings into play the thoughts I've written recently about the leaders need to balance the "big deals" and the times a leader must micromanage. Figuring out those balances are unique to each organization I'm sure…and probably the subject of another post! 🙂 My short answer would be that you do not empower decisions which could alter the vision of the organization or decisions which have impact on more areas than one's area of responsibility. Make sense? Great question.

      • Not to discourage you from creating a future post on this,but your short answer makes perfect sense. BTW I really appreciate your post. I get a lot out of them and have learned much since I have started reading your blog. Sometimes I feel like an annoyance because I'm constantly asking questions and commenting, but I very much appreciate you taking the time to respond.

  • We are doing a lot better at this but we still need some improvements … It has definitely increased our effectiveness.

    • ronedmondson says:

      It's a work in progress for most of us, because there is something in us that feels more comfortable with control. Thanks for commenting.

    • Felix Zara says:

      Hi Kevin Martinneau,

      You have said the right word that you are doing a lot,but again to my disappointment when some leaders are leading wrong I am not at rest.Example:"are you to talk with me"Don't you know that I am your boss?and so many questions.What can you advice me as a servant under authority of such a cruel leader?

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