As I was thinking about what it means to be a good leader today, I was thinking about our responsibility to not only care for the people under our leadership, but to empower them to be all they can be. If you’re thinking that you may want to take a break from being a leader to following a leader, consider if you’re ready to be empowered by someone else, or if you still want to do the empowering. Assuming you’re still reading, let’s talk about one of my favorite things about empowering your people.
As a leader not only do you want people who are passionate about the vision you’ve set before them, you also want to empower them to be better people and better leaders themselves. A true leader raises up the next generation of leaders, not because they want to be worked out of a job, but because everyone has gifts and talents that they can use to do good in the world.
One of the things I’ve always loved about working with others is the moment when they realize they have something awesome to bring to the table. That moment when their face lights up and they realize they’ve just done, can do or will do something that will impact another person or help with the cause is truly life-changing.
As a leader how do you make this happen? First, you have to be willing to listen and hear what the people are saying, or see how their heart is reacting to the situation. Second, you have to ask good questions, and get to know your people. Third, ask them what they like! Fourth, give them some different opportunities to use their desired talents, as well as other opportunities you see as things they could do. Once you’ve worked with them for a while, not only will you know their strongest talents, and some really great ways they can not only help you as a leader, but also help in the community, you’ll also have helped them discover some things they may not have known about themselves and their talents.
Who can you encourage today to use their gifts and talents?