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“If serving is below you, leadership is beyond you.” ~ AnonymousA Legacy of EmpowermentThe month of July creates numerous op- portunities for people to see what servanthood, delegating, empowerment, and leadership are all about. Through the Independence Day parades, special programs in the community, and historic movies on T.V. there is no shortage of learning what serving our country is all about. The military has a very specific pathway to leadership and it all begins with service above self.In the world of business, the line of suc- cession is not quite as easy to follow. The rules can be confusing and areas of importance are valued differently. One may value experience over education; another may value these two in reverse. Others may weigh equity as a primary concern,or creativity, or charisma, or... And variables keep changing. One thing that does seem to be consis- tent includes being in the right place at the right time, along with a bit of good fortune.Whether a person has grown into leadership, was born into it, or had it thrust upon them, having the title is not always a measure of being a successful leader.Why is delegating important? Delegatingand simplifying often go hand in hand. Delegat- ing tasks to employees allows them to grow and become better and more productive. Delegation is an effective way of encouraging staff to develop new skills. Delegation shows you trust your people. When you trust others, they tend to trust you.According to Dale Carnegie, leaders who delegate can experience many wonderful benefits including...• Saving managerial time: Delegation is a way of“creating more time” for managers, so they cancontinue to do what they and they alone can dobest – managing tasks, jobs, and personnel.• Developing employees: Delegating tasks to em- ployees allows them to grow and become betterand more productive. The result is employees with a broader set of skills than before. It can also prepare employees for promotion and creates a skill base so that if the manager is not available, an employee can feel empowered to make decisions.• Engage/motivate employees: Employees who are involved or engaged in their jobs tend tobe better contributors. Delegation helps staff members become more engaged because they are exposed to new challenges, a chance to learn, and understand that their manager trusts them to succeed at the delegated tasks.For the employee, accepting tasks can be your greatest opportunity for advancement, added empowerment, and ultimate leadership roles.Learning to delegate can be just as much of a challenge for the manager or leader as it is for the learner. Realizing the value to both of you is a great start. The more you delegate the better you will both get over time.One of the greatest challenges is for the manager or leader to let go. Oftentimes the leader is so attached to a project that it is difficult to delegate. If so, choose a different project. However, it may be time to realize that a project is important to others as well. So start small and work your way up.Make sure that others understand the priority system and goals. This will give them direction intheir decision-making process. And if necessary, include instructions or demonstrate what you are after.“The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.” ~ John WoodenDelegate to their strengths for greater success but be willing to teach new skills if needed. At first, you may feel the need to verify. Realizethat constructive criticism is part of the learning process as well. Over time your trust can turn into empowerment.Those that can learn this valuable truth have great success, not just for themselves, but alsofor those that surround them. The quest is to learn how to delegate and then to empower others; to learn how to encourage them but also to allow them to make mistakes; to teach them to be teachable while being open to their new ideas. Empowering others requires an investment of time, talents, and tenacity.Empowerment is often used interchangeably with delegating; there is a real difference however. While both are essential skills there are several areas of difference between them. Delegating is a means of assigning tasks whereas empowerment seeks to give an employee more authority withthe aim of developing employee commitment, enthusiasm, and expertise, all while encourag-ing innovation that will benefit the organization over time. Empowerment necessarily requires some level of delegation, but not all instances of delegation will produce an empowered employeeBY SHERII SHERBAN“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, de8 SCENE 4307 I ANNUAL REPORT CARD

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