Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Independence - A way to empower

Leadership or Management, its all about vision, goals and success. Leadership take a long term destination to achieve broader goals, Management helps achieve it. One of the key elements of this piece which we call achieving Success is "Team". Its the Team that really decides the fate of a successful leader. A quote from the famous movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis tells Truman...

" I am the best, because I work with the Best"
So if this Team is so important, how does one ensure they become best? I found a way all through the past few years... the word Empower. A theoretical meaning says "to equip, to supply with necessary things to achieve a goal, to enable , to permit" a practical meaning much more than that...A Team that is empowered can make decisions, can do things right and can build a powerful ground to achieve organizational goals.

In a team lunch we recently had for the new members of the Team, I asked "How does it feel like to be with us?" he replied "Amazing!, I have never seen such level of Independence, in all the companies I have worked with" another colleague replied "I begin my career where my Boss let me do a lot of things on my own, demos , meetings, development and so many other things, I feel that I got those days back". I am thrilled that the Team that is merely 3 weeks old, realize the culture we imbibe in people "Independence" in narrow lanes, Empowerment on a highway.

I realized the importance of Independence when I took up my first job... Teaching I was supposed to teach a class of 10 people on computer topics "Microsoft Excel" to be precise. It was my first day and first ever experience of taking a lecture, my Guide and Sr. tutor chose to sit along with the class to see how I do. The class lasted for 40 mins, I shivered the whole time, fumbled. She walked to me and said, next time she would not need to be in the class as I was doing good, she also let me design my own breakups of the lectures. Believe me this inspired me so much and helped me to a level that it wasnt difficult for me to train corporates in a very short span of time.

A small piece of Independence can help empower the Team members to take complex things to ease. Interesting isnt it?

  • Independence to work in their own ways , but within the boundaries

  • Independence to make decisions, to make those decisions better

  • Independence to execute , and yield good results

  • Independence to build strong self, while helping others to be strong

Independence makes a lot of things better. Helps in empowering the Teams to be more strong, more powerful, more effective....

So how does one give more Independence to the Team?

1. Assign tasks that will allow your subordinates to grow and take on additional responsibilities. let them decide the execution paths. This will build a lot of confidence in them.

2. Explain them the task and the goal of the task and what is it that they can achieve out of it, let them decide what is best in it for themselves.

3. Challenge and get Challenged. Ask questions that will help them realise and be more effective if they are falling apart. Let them ask questions so they know what is it.

4. Trust their decisions, stand by it.

5. Be a part of criticism and appreciation wherever needed.

6. Help them when they fail, but help let them succeed after they fail.

After all an empowered Team member is what can make life easier for a bigger piece of your Team.