We continue week three of my EBECAR Leadership principles to becoming an influence. This week we continue with the third pillar – Empowerment.
I would like to share an example of how I empowered the leaders operating under me.
Empowering your employee is a natural tangible progression of your expressed belief in your staff.
Fifteen years ago I had the privilege of managing and growing a community development department of our church. After 8 years at the helm, we directly impacted over 500,000 people across nine provinces. The National Capital District, Gulf, Central, Milne Bay, Morobe, Madang, New Ireland and Western Province, we provided water and sanitation facilities and educated the community to construct and maintain these facilities as part of project sustainability. In order to achieve such an impact I had to have excellent leaders – it is impossible for one person to have such a large direct impact.
I had three leaders that supported me amongst my 30+ staff. Henry, Willie & Brian. I had revised their job description, increased their responsibility and appointed them as managers and “empowered” them with the right tools and training to go with it, some formal and other on the job training with me.
Here is what I did.
Provide them tools, and resources to help them do their job competently;
- Provided them instruction manuals of the machinery they were operating on a daily basis.
- Introduced them to the international suppliers and delegated the responsibility to communicate with them on a monthly basis about our projects and technical needs.
- Provided resources – simple actions like giving them time to get their drivers licenses, so they can support our drivers.
- Enrolled them to formal training provided by our donor partners like World Vision, EU Programs and others to learn about Project Management specific to their line of work.
Demonstrated to them people management skills – How to deal with dealing with difficult staff members;
- At the first instance I would correct the problem myself, but allowing each to brief me on what has transpired to get this point.
- Next step – I would be to allow them to lead the conflict meetings and set the penalties with my full support.
- once I was comfortable that they were ready, I would reaffirm their role by advising the staff during our weekly staff meeting that all staff issues will now be handled by the three leaders.
- Finally, I would always have an end of week “catch” with them to ensure they knew I had their back, and provided additional advice, guidance if and when required.
As a result, our ministry was able to multiply its impact, my three leaders were on fire, and they replicated what I did for them with their direct reports. In total Henry, Willie & Brian led 25-30 staff during their time as managers.
Empowerment of your staff will result in business growth, happier staff, happier work environment, life time of respect and friendship.
What are some of your experiences in empowerment?
Next week I’ll share about the 4th Pillar of EBECAR.
Until next week!
Arthur C Tane
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