What is leadership? What is power? What is empowerment? How are these concepts interrelated?
Leadership is the process of inspiring others to work hard to accomplish important tasks. Power is the ability to get someone else to do something you want done or to make things happen the way you want for the good of the group or organization as a whole. Empowerment is the process through which managers enable and help others to gain power and achieve influence within the organization.
Power in organizations is not a “zero-sum” quantity. Power can be expanded through leadership that involves other people. This can be accomplished by doing the following:
• Getting others involved in selecting their work assignments and the methods for accomplishing tasks.
• Creating an environment of cooperation, information sharing, discussion, and shared ownership of goals.
• Encouraging others to take initiative, make decisions, and use their knowledge.
• Finding out what others think and let them help design the solutions when problems arise.
• Staying out of the way; giving others the freedom to put their ideas and solutions into practice.
• Maintaining high morale and confidence by recognizing successes and encouraging high performance.
By empowering others, the leader becomes more influential and better able to exercise leadership.
Source: Management, 11th Edition & 12th Edition- John R. Schermerhorn