Let them run!
Finish this sentence. If I want something done right, then……
I will do it my self. It is the age old saying that we often find ourselves living by on a daily basis.
There is something inside all of us that longs to have and keep all control. When in reality, if you let great people run, you will all wind up farther down the road than if you did everything yourself.
In the New Testament in the book of Mark; Jesus lays out a perfect example of empowerment, but if there was ever anyone that did not need to empower others, it was Jesus. I mean, He is the savior of the world and creator of all things, I think He can do pretty much what He wants. However, I think Jesus knew that 2000 years later you and I would still be struggling with the idea of empowering others. Here are four ideas that I think might help.
1) Give them an Example.
Jesus showed them how to minister rather than just tellingthem how to minister. Do you show or tell the people in your life what to do. You are probably sitting in a position of authority and have definitely paid your dues and in all reality your people will do whatever you tell them, but are you afraid to get your hands dirty?
2) Give them Authority
In the Bible it says that Jesus gave them authority to cast out evil spirits. This is huge step of empowerment because Jesus didn’t know what types of people or spirits they would encounter. He didn’t say go find the evil spirit, bring me a report, I will run it through committee, and if you have 2/3 vote then you can cast it out. All he said was “you have the authority.” At times we can all be the proverbial micro-manager can’t we? We love to give people all the responsibility but we keep the authority and control for ourselves. Does the authority you give your people match the responsibility that you give them?
3) Give them Instruction.
Jesus gave his disciples clear and concise instruction to follow. He didn’t assume that they could read His mind, or think that they could figure it all out for themselves. He told them exactly what to take, where to go, and what to do. I think sometimes we know what we would like to see happen but we lack in the communication of our expectations. Make sure you give the people in your life clear and concise instruction and define how you measure success.
4) Give them Support.
Jesus gave His disciples support if they succeeded, but more importantly if they failed. He told them that if they were rejected to “shake the dust from their feet” and move on. If you only support your people when they succeed then you are only a fan, which is great. However, if you support them when the fail, get rejected, or fall flat on their face then you are their supporter. A person is free to try new ideas when they know that they will have the support when they succeed but more importantly if they fail.
And so my challenge is this: empower the people around you. It has been working for 2000 years to grow ministries, organizations, departments, and teams. Give the people in your world an example, give them the authority to match their responsibility, give them clear and concise instruction, and give them support no matter what. When you start giving them these four ideas; soon you will find your self saying “If I want something done right, then I will empower others to do it themselves.”