“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” ~Bill Gates
Each of us are very different – we have different personalities, skills, and values. We all bring something different to the table. That’s why it is so important for us to acknowledge our differences, celebrate them, and bring them together. Empowering others is the key to success.
Here’s a few key things to remember in empowering others.
- Practice humility. Before going to battle in a competition with a colleague, take a moment to think subjectively about your opponent. What qualities do they have? What skills have they acquired? What do they bring to the table that you don’t? Take your pride out of the equation. The simple fact is that the best way to work together is to enhance everyone’s strengths, no matter what. Once you do that, true success will be easy.
- Strike a balance. When thinking about why I’ve been successful in my career, I automatically think about other people. Whether supervisors or colleagues, my peers have truly been a huge part of my journey. I have developed a system to know when to rely on myself and when to turn to others. And that delicate balance is the key to success in the workplace.
- Expand your definition. Don’t take empowerment to only pertain to subordinates. You can empower your boss just as easily. No matter how confident we come across, we all have insecurities from time to time. It’s important to assure your boss that she is a valued member of the team on a regular basis. It can be lonely at the top.
So often we are taught that it’s a dog eat dog world – everyone’s out for themselves, hoping for more money, influence, or power. Throw that thought away. Especially in the nonprofit sector, collaboration is key. Collaborate strategically by empowering all members of the team to bring their strengths to the table. That is when you will be truly successful.