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Leader, let me share one easy, but huge thing you can do to better empower people on your team.

And, in full disclosure, I’m the worst at this, but it’s something I continually strive to do better.

You want to fully empower your team?

Here’s what you do:

Release them from responsibility.

Whenever you can, let them know they aren’t being held responsible.

Often as leaders we handle a lot of information. Sometimes we do that with our team. Often we dispense a lot of new ideas. If we are growing and learning personally, the team is often where we process our thoughts as we have them.

And here is where this principle comes into play:

If it’s not their responsibility — let them know it’s not.

Again, it sounds easy but it’s huge.

You see, the team is always wondering if what you are thinking is where the organization is going next. They are waiting for leadership.

Specifically, what is the leader thinking here – as it relates to me?

  • What do you want me to do with that new idea?
  • How do you want me to help?
  • What’s my role going to be in this?
  • Are you going to hold me accountable for this?
  • Do you expect something from me here?

As leaders, we often process and present a lot of ideas, but sometimes we are just “thinking.” Sometimes we aren’t assigning anything – we are simply exploring.

The more we can release the people trying to follow us the more they can focus on things for which they are being held accountable. And the more willing they will be to process new ideas with us.

Just tell them what you expect  or don’t expect. Say the words, “You are not responsible for this.” “I don’t expect anything from you on this.” “This is just for information.” “I’m simply thinking out loud right now.” And mean it.

Release them from responsibility.

Even better – create a healthy enough environment so people feel freedom to ask or challenge you when they don’t understand if they are being held responsible.

Sounds easy. It’s huge.

Nate and I are about to launch a new season of the Ron Edmondson Leadership Podcast, so subscribe now. You don’t miss the next one.

Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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