John C Maxwell is an author, public speaker, and pastor who has written books that have sold millions of copies. The book today that I will be sharing is a New York Times Bestseller and is known to be his best work. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is a great read and easy to follow. Here is a a quick review on the chapter of
THE LAW OF EMPOWERMENT
Only Secure Leaders Give Power to Others.
Maxwell uses Henry Ford II as an example of insecure leaders. Ford once had the potential to take over General Motors and be the absolute best in the industry. Although, his insecurities and ego took Ford in a different direction. He felt threatened by his successful leaders that he once hired, his actions were based on position and not influence, and he would often undercut authority. He was once quoted "if a guy works for you, don't let him get too comfortable, don't let him get cozy or set in his ways. Always do the opposite of what he expects. Keep your people anxious."
Who in their right mind would want to work 40+ hours a week in an unformattable and anxious environment with a leader who would consistently undercut authority?
Employees and coworkers should have a sense of safety in the workplace. Here is a 5 step process of empowering leaders.
1 - Identify leaders
2 - Build them up
3 - Give them resource
4 - Give them authority and responsibility
5 - Turn them loose to give the same back
Only empowered people can reach their potential. When leaders forgo empowering others, it will create barriers throughout the organization. If the leader refuses to change and swallow his or her ego, people in the organization will lose trust, and eventually leave.
Leaders fail to empower others because of 3 things:
#1 Desire For Job Security.
Many people have a fear of losing what they have. They can be afraid other coworkers might “outshine” them which in return can hurt the safety in the company. Although, if you empower others all the time and help them grow, your value to the organization will be much higher if you didn't empower anyone. It's okay to be vulnerable. Vulnerability shows to your followers that you are comfortable with your flaws and willing to grow yourself.
#2 Resistance to Change
If you are not changing, you are not growing. If you're not growing as an individual, someone can do your job better than you. You often need to ask yourself - “Am I content with where I am?” As John Maxwell says “Change is the price of progress.”
#3 Lack of Self-Worth.
Have you ever been led by a self conscious leader? I believe it’s hard to come by. Self conscious leaders struggle to give power away, because they feel like they have no power themselves.THe best empowering leaders have a strong sense of self worth, and believe they are the right person for the job.
This chapter from Maxwell's book reminds me of one of my favorite Ted Talks:
Sinek says “In the military, they give medals to people who sacrifice themselves so that others may gain. In business, they give bonuses to people who sacrifice others so that they may gain.”
The Law of Empowerment is all about sacrificing yourself so that your followers and the people around you and gain knowledge and experience. And remember, the Law of Empowerment is not only for hte person being developed, it is also extremely beneficial for the mentor.
“Enlarging others makes you larger” John C. Maxwell