If You Want Something Done Right...Empower People


Enduring Freedom

If you want it done right, empower others to do it.

I know you've heard the old adage, "If you want it done right, do it yourself."  There was a time that I bought into this crusty, cynical way of looking at management and leadership.  Not anymore.  Now, when I hear someone quote this phrase - usually in frustration - I know I'm dealing with an inexperienced leader.

Experienced leaders empower people.  That doesn't mean delegate a task to someone and give them enough rope to hang themselves.  Delegation isn't empowerment. Letting people work unsupervised and hanging them out to dry when they fail isn't empowerment either.  Empowerment is about:

  • Putting the right people in place.
  • Making sure they have pride and passion for the task.
  • Giving them the information they need to get started.
  • Coaching them through developing the skill-sets they need to succeed.
  • Helping them acquire the right resources at the right time.
  • Mentoring them through the process.
  • Celebrating their success and/or owning their failure.

When I hear the phrase, "If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself." I know someone dropped the ball in one or more of these points.

Also, in my experience, the person uttering this phrase is usually focused on managing their people rather than leading them.

photo by The US Army

JournalPaul Watson