Leadership – Power or Empower?

A wise man once said “To lead people, walk behind them”.

With the ever-increasing demands at work at all levels of an organisation, apart from all other key factors that determine the success of a leader, the ability to execute and meeting timelines is most crucial.

Most leaders focus on the tangible aspects of a project to ensure it is successfully executed – no. of people, tasks assigned, reporting structure, billing rates, keeping costs in control, quality of the product or service etc..

Though these may sound like all that needs to be done for an efficient and effective execution model, it may lead to a leader’s downfall, resulting in unintended costs for the leader, for the team and for the organisation.

Highly task-forced or we may say task-oriented leaders have their execution plans laid out at the cost of people-oriented strategies.

What this may mean is that there is no real emphasis given to building an emotional connect with their people. HR can’t make each and every process or policy to be followed by each and every leader in an organisation. They may lay down the broad level policy structure, but how leaders operate at ground level with their respective teams, is mostly up to the leaders themselves.

Many Highly efficient leaders often lose their focus on people due to a limiting belief that with the introduction of more people focused processes or activities within their teams, their ability to execute plans in a speedy manner will get greatly affected and ultimately slow down.

There is absolutely no focus on people centric activities like – inspiring their teams, build an emotional connect with their people, instill a culture of open communication within the team, rewarding team members, build a model of support & growth for all and last but not the least showing empathy towards team members.

Another spoiler to the whole Leadership phenomena is the insecurity of many leaders to promote their team members. A true leader is someone who walks behind their teams as mentioned above. We need to understand that if we as leaders show full support and project our team members as best, there will be more people inclined towards working with us with full devotion, else we may just have robots working for us, without any compassion towards the work. This indeed may be counterproductive.

A good leader is the one who balances both the tangible as well as the intangible aspects  – Empathy towards people, inspiring people, motivating people, supporting people, emotionally connecting with people, promoting your people. In fact, if these intangible aspects are taken care of, they would translate into tangible gains for sure.

Don’t be a Manager who instructs employees, be a Leader who encourages people ! Don’t assign duties, instead foster ideas ! Instead of trying to control, inspire trust !

Let’s not use power, but Empower our people !

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