C-Suite Network™

High-Caliber Leaders Give Away Their Power

“What you throw out there will come back to you.”

This is something I always teach in my leadership development workshops. How you treat others will always come back to you.

What do you suppose I brought back as a souvenir from my travels in Australia? Yep, you guessed it, a beautiful handcrafted boomerang! It sits on my desk as a reminder to be conscious of the way that I treat others.

High-caliber leaders understand this principle and practice it daily with their team members. The most effective leaders also know that they actually become more powerful when they give power away. Unfortunately, we have all been conditioned to believe that power is available in a limited quantity: If I have more, you have less. Naturally those who believe this tend to hoard the power that they think they have and are reluctant to share it with anyone.

Whether you lead a virtual team, a group of employees, or your pick-up soccer league, the more control you give others over their work environment and the more you ask for their input on decisions that affect them, the more productive and effective they will be.

Each time you share power with employees and colleagues, you are demonstrating your trust and confidence in their abilities and skills. When you help others to grow and develop, that help will be returned to you. Your employees or team members will feel committed, engaged, and loyal to you and to the organization. They will take pride in their job when they feel a sense of “ownership” in their job.

Don’t forget this boomerang effect: Respect is a form of power. If you want to be respected, you must be respectful of others. Here’s the kicker: Be respectful of others, regardless of their title or yours. You will have that power/respect reciprocated, possibly even doubled.

Regardless of your title, experience, or position as a leader, just remember my boomerang theory. What you throw out there will come back to you…

For more resources on leadership and employee engagement, be sure to sign up for our monthly Ezine and you will receive our report: “7 of Your Biggest People Problems…Solved.”

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Jennifer Ledet, CSP, is a leadership consultant and professional speaker (with a hint of Cajun flavor) who equips leaders from the boardroom to the mailroom to improve employee engagement, teamwork, and communication.  In her customized programs, leadership retreats, keynote presentations, and breakout sessions, she cuts through the BS and talks through the tough stuff to solve your people problems.

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Jennifer Ledet

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