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Empowerment by Matrix Development
A Eureka Moment - graphic image by Martin Richardson of ARTMART

In the Moment

Diversity – knowledge, skills and attitude

I, like many people have ideas and thoughts that pop into my head.


I have decided to write down (the ones that are publishable and legal), so I don’t forget them and they may be of assistance to you.

What is empowerment?

Leaders that are permitting people to make decisions about the work they are involved in without having to refer to a more senior person for authorisation.

Or is it?

Let good people get on with their job and not interfering. Trust them.

There is also some evidence that empowerment allows people to abdicate responsibility under the guise of ‘common sense’.

“But it’s my neck on the line!” Is the cry of many a line manager, if you have the excellent people working for you, surely you trust them to do the job, if you don’t then do something about that.

Empowerment can often play out as permitting someone to do something, which when you’re dealing with a ten-year-old is perfectly valid; however, when you’re dealing with a highly trained adult, it seems a little like overkill.

Empowerment I believe attacks the problem from the wrong end, leaders shouldn’t be allowing people to do things. Leaders should be restricting people when there is a clear and valid reason to do so be it knowledge, skills or attitude.

People need to be allowed to use their judgement and make decisions. Of course, they should consult others, looking at alternatives, but competent people will. Only when someone’s opinion is lacking judgement should action be taken to restrict the authority of that individual.

Empowerment – should be a given as a matter of routine.

Disempowerment – should be when the individual concerned doesn’t have the relevant experience or has demonstrated they are unable to do the job they should be able to do.

You can read further articles in the series by following this link - In the Moment