May 17, 2018

Empower Your Team, Part 3

By: Carter Wade

Efficiency Management

As I said previously, when I first started managing I was terrible at it.  But, I had mentors who showed me that in order to get the best from my team I had to let go and let them fly on their own. 

That wasn’t easy for me.  But, over time and with a lot of “letting go” I was able to help others become wildly successful in their work.  It gave me so much satisfaction to see good people who had skills be developed and become great at what they do.

In Part 1 of this series, I talked about the fact that I learned that if I wanted to grow in my own role and responsibilities and to help our company thrive, I HAD to learn to empower others.  And while I might have done something a bit differently, I realized that our clients were actually just fine getting the work the way that one of my team members had presented it.  They were happy, my staff was happy, and I was happy because I didn’t have to do all the work!

Then in Part 2 I shared five practical ways you can start empowering your team today.

In my final post here in this series about the vitally important need to empower others, I’ll share what it will mean for you, for you employees and for your company.

Better for You

There are many ways that empowering others will be better for YOU.  Here are just a few:

  • You won’t have to feel the pressure of trying to do all of the work yourself.
  • You’ll find out whether or not you have the right staff who can do the job.  If you do, then empower them even more.  If you don’t, then move them out.  Right away.
  • You’ll have happier employees who will get recognized for their good work and who want to help you be more successful in your business because you trust them, and they trust you.  
  • It will help you grow your business.  To make it scalable.  Or it will help you grow in your roles and responsibilities.  You’ll very likely get a raise.
  • It will give you more time to think and dream about the big picture.  New ideas.  New opportunities.
  • It will help you to have a better work/life balance.
  • It will reduce your stress level.
  • It will get you to a healthier place mentally and physically (you’ll have time for the gym).

Better for Your People 

Team members who are truly empowered will also benefit in a big way.  Here are just a few:

  • They’ll feel the responsibility of doing excellent work.  While at first they will feel the pressure to do a great job, once they have and are acknowledged for it by you as their manager, they’ll become more and more confident and want to do even better.
  • They’ll feel that they’re actually contributing to the success of the company.  Like a real team member.
  • They’ll be able to make more actual decisions.  They’ll feel great about it and you will too because you won’t be making every single one like you are now!
  • They’ll be more loyal.
  • They’ll feel trusted by you.  You’ll then be trusted by them.
  • They can grow in their roles and take even more responsibilities off your shoulders.

“If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give people the room they need.” 
― James C. Collins, Built to Last

“People leave managers, not companies” 
― Marcus BuckinghamFirst, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

Better for Your Company

The combined net effect of all these things together is going to be better for your company or the company you work for.  Things like:

  • More happy and fulfilled staff members who want to do great work.
  • The company will become more scalable, will grow, and will be more profitable.
  • Empowered staff with true decision-making responsibilities will bring about greater efficiencies and less wasted time.
  • There will be new ideas and new product offerings.  Trust me on this.  I’ve seen many young people who are empowered and feel like they can actually affect change or do things in better ways than in the past, etc., and they come up with incredible new ideas.  Others will come up with new ideas to stay relevant and up with the times that you can grow into.
  • You can become a great company who attracts more and more top talent in your industry.  And that talent will stay with you for a long time because they’ll be empowered as well.

So, if you haven’t already, start truly empowering your team today.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t check in to verify that something is going the right direction.  But trust THEM to lead and take terminal responsibility to be excellent at what they do.  It will benefit you.  It will benefit them.  I have absolutely no doubt about it.

Carter Wade is a partner and Client Services leader at the Veritus Group, a major donor training and consulting agency.  He’s an enthusiastic senior leader and client advocate with more than 30 years of experience serving non-profit organizations in strategic planning, direct response marketing, and fundraising. He’s developed and managed highly successful campaigns for a wide range of national and regional clients throughout the United States.  He’s lives in Seattle with his wife and three kids.

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