What’s this “empowerment” stuff?

There are two fundamental styles of leadership: Controllers and empowerers. Now, I always hesitate to say that “Controllers” are bad, and “Empowerers” are good.

It’s just not that simple.

Sometimes, even the best leaders find themselves in a controlling ‘mode.’ Perhaps a deadline snuck up on them; perhaps there’s been previous errors in decision-making or judgment. Maybe it’s a safety issue or a true urgent need.

Whatever. Anyone who lives in a production, quantity and time environment, will eventually find themselves in a Controlling mode sometimes. The key isn’t to bemoan the fact; it’s to realize what we’re doing and get out of that mode as quickly as possible.

Always remember: when in a Controlling mode, you may be accomplishing an immediate task, but that’s all you’re doing — satisfying the moment. You are not developing your folks, so the problem that caused this urgency will be back.

And you’ll have to decide again…

Pay attention to these things. They matter.

Kevin Berchelmann

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