Team Tips - Empowerment and the Leader
Historically, decisions for day-to-day work have rested with the leader. So shifting such decisions closer to the point of action seems a contradiction to the traditional role of the leader. One of the primary questions of managers, supervisors, and team leaders in an organization transitioning to empowerment is "What will my role be in this new environment? If you reduce my responsibilities, what shall I do?"
In point of fact, however, delegating daily task decisions to those performing the work enhances the role of the leader as well as the role of the worker. One manager we know explained her appreciation for empowerment concepts by stating that, by delegating certain day-to-day decisions and tasks to her people, she was able to concentrate more on issues of strategic importance to her department.
A useful exercise is simply to contemplate how a manager, supervisor, or team leader who has delegated some of the daily tasks to the team might spend his or her new found time. What could your leaders do if they had an extra two hours in their workday to spend on other activities? What would your team like to see them do now that would help achieve team goals?