For business success now and in the future, you need a great leadership team. By this, we don’t simply mean managers. Managers are vital to keep operations flowing, but we’re talking about your leaders – those that inspire your workforce to reach higher, dream bigger and believe in your business.

You may have a team in place that you believe are the right people to lead your employees. But without the correct support, that leadership team won’t fulfil the roles and expectations set for them. To reach their potential as great leaders, they need to feel empowered to go out and get the job done.

Empowerment will allow them to lead with confidence and energy, and to get the best out of their workforce. When your leaders are empowered, so are the teams they are responsible for. Your whole enterprise is injected with that ‘buzz’ – where ideas flow, productivity skyrockets and innovation thrives.

To do the original thinking and long-term planning needed for a business to grow and succeed, leaders need the time, space and support to engage employees, encourage creativity and take stock of the world around them. You need to listen to their ideas and allow them to take risks.

Empowerment doesn’t come at the flick of a switch. You need the right conditions and attitudes in place to develop it. Here are some key elements needed to empower your leadership team…

Why Trust Is Vital For Effective Leadership…

Trust is a huge part of empowerment. When leaders, and all employees, have the trust of their superiors they feel like a valued part of the organisation and that their skills are fully appreciated.

It’s not always easy. Trust requires senior figures to step back, loosen some control and allow their leaders to go out and, well, lead. This doesn’t mean relinquishing all authority or giving leaders complete carte blanche to do as they please. But it does mean not micro-managing, or being too restrictive or overbearing with limitations, targets or expectations.

Start by delegating some decision-making or projects that leaders can get their teeth into and let them get on with it. Trust them to know what they are doing and to do it well. They’ll feel their abilities are respected and that their contributions are making a real difference.

Give Them Space To Thrive And Grow…

Stifling your leaders will leave them feeling over-managed, under-appreciated and generally deflated. How can they inspire positivity in others if they are not feeling positive themselves? Give your leadership team the space to be creative. Innovation and striving to improve is what keeps businesses going from one year to the next. If leaders are pounding out reports or dashing from one meeting to the next, how can they get into the innovation head space? Let them take a breath, and start the flow of creative ideas that will take your organisation into the future.

Leaders need the freedom to take risks – even if they don’t pay off. Sticking with the same old way of doing things will not create a sustainable business. Let them try out new ideas, whether that’s new working methods, new products or services or new technologies. It might be time to shake off the status quo and embrace change.

It’s also vital that your leadership team has the space to take stock; to look at your business goals, to keep track of market trends, or to evaluate competitors. But also to look at the real big-picture stuff – wider trends in the economy, politics and society and any disruptions that could negatively impact your business or open up new opportunities.

Engaging Your Leaders And Employees…

This is a ‘buzzword’ that gets used a lot in business but its meaning is often lost. When we talk about engagement, we mean the connection you have to your leaders and employees and the connection they have with your business goals, vision and culture.

True engagement is when your people fully buy-in to what your business is trying to achieve. They are committed to giving their best to their roles and care about the outcomes. They achieve to the highest level, and it goes without saying that this is good for business.

Building engagement takes a lot of work but it can be achieved. And when leaders are engaged – that’s when the magic really happens. To do this you need to provide clear communication, encouragement and trust.

You need to create a company culture they want to be part of; visions and goals they can get on board with. Show them how their contribution counts internally and in the wider world. Show you value their ideas and give credit when due.

Engaged leaders will drip feed their energy and commitment down to their teams and throughout your organisation; over time increasing productivity, efficiency and creativity.  And what business doesn’t want that?

The Power Of Coaching…

Sometimes we all need a little boost or help to figure things out. Just because someone has reached the top of the pile doesn’t mean they stop needing support. Leaders need to continuously develop and enhance their skills and a highly effective way to do this is through coaching.

Coaching can bring huge benefits for leaders and senior executives, supporting them to overcome barriers and realise their full potential. Coaches can help leaders tap into their creativity, overcome complacency and become the inspirational figure they want to be.

They provide perspective, help to work through particular issues or difficult situations and develop qualities such as resilience, confidence and personal effectiveness.

Not all leaders are born. The qualities of great leadership can be learned and practised with the right support. Once they have the personal skills to take on the challenges of leadership, they will be a fantastic role model to future leaders within your company.

Empowerment is a crucial piece of the puzzle in business. If you can empower your leaders, and in turn your workforce as a whole, you’ll send employee engagement and productivity soaring. It’s not a quick-fix. It takes time and commitment to create and maintain real empowerment, but once in place it will pay you back for years to come.

Empower Your Leaderships Team Today…

Need help empowering your leadership team? Empathy delivers a range of flexible, bespoke solutions to suit you. Sign up for my free video series on The CPR Method and how it can transform your business…