During my 25 years at Flight Centre, empowerment was one of my first, and most important, lessons in leadership. I was lucky enough to work closely with founder Geoff Harris, who was the absolute role model when it came to empowerment. The Flight Centre culture was built around ensuring everyone had ownership of their business and their roles. I am convinced that this was the biggest driver for leadership growth and overall business success.
This week I’m focusing on five key strategies to help you empower your leaders:
1. Set your expectations and manage those expectations
If people are not clear on what is expected of them, it is very hard to hold them accountable. If we want to have empowered leaders, we must set expectations so that people know what success looks like and then we have to ensure that people have the right level of support to meet those expectations.
We must resist the urge to micro-manage and instead demonstrate that the support is there if it is needed.
2. Have everyone aligned to achieving the business goals
Teams working in silos do not achieve great results. Ensure everyone is working towards the same goals. Bring your leadership team together give everyone a voice and have everyone aligned to achieving the same outcomes.
3. Build a community — a sense of belonging
A sense of community is a powerful bond in any team. Relationships, human connection, a sense of belonging – these are at the core of community. High performing people feel valued and appreciated. When there are high levels of trust there is a desire to strive harder to deliver results.
4. Developing your leadership depth
Have you identified your future leaders? Do you regularly share the opportunities for growth and have career discussions? When people feel they are in control of their destiny, can see a career path for themselves, and know where they need to develop, they will be motivated to achieve.
5. Seek advice from those who are getting results
Being empowered is also about taking responsibility for your personal and professional growth.
Never underestimate the power of reaching out to peers and tapping into their experiences. You might find inspiration from someone within your organisation, or it might be a leader in a completely different world of work that you feel you can learn from.
Developing new skills, expanding perspectives, and staying relevant are all key characteristics of empowered leaders.
These insights served me well during my leadership career and continue to shape the way I support leaders and teams. I’d love to hear what you do to empower your leaders?