Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Quadrant 4 Leadership: How to Empower Others

Leaders have to work with both feelings and hard skills, intangible and tangible.

Confidence: The ability to self-determine without fear of judgment. Feeling of courage. This means freedom to make mistakes and the knowledge of one’s ability to learn from those mistakes. A feeling. Intangible.

Competence: The ability to do the task with skill and efficiency. Hard skills. Tangible.

When both are working in tangent, people are empowered. They have the ability to make their own choices.

Empowering leaders don’t feel the need to be in control. They are in the business of giving control away. The way to empower is to consistently build both self-determining confidence and real competency into your people.

Let’s XY this thought.

Clearly, if neither element is present there is complete dysfunction. That’s quadrant 1. No one wants to be here. Workers are facing either apathy or anxiety (or both). The solution here is complex because you probably need a new manager and new team members.

People who land in quadrant 2 are self-assured and possibly arrogant. They have a lot of confidence in themselves with few competencies to back it up. Empower these people by allowing them to make mistakes. Let them learn by trial and error and grow into competency.

Quadrant 3 is for people who are highly competent, but who don’t believe it. They are apprehensive and possibly afraid. This is a tricky group to manage because there are usually reasons behind their apprehension and fear. You may have to dig into that and build confidence and courage into them. Trust them. Give them the data and resources they need to do the things they’ve already proven competency.

Because every leader should desire her people to live in quadrant 4. We want people to be empowered.

Empowered people change a work environment.

Empowered people change the world and the culture around them.

Empowering leaders won’t make a name for themselves, but they do make all the difference.