Leadership is not an Option, but Essential in Empowered Organisations.
Leadership is crucial in empowered organisations and #leaders need to play a vital role, otherwise, the danger is that organisations could be heading for ‘crisis’ due to lack of the right kind of leadership which is conducive to employee empowerment. But, a word of caution. Leadership style needs to be favourable to employee empowerment. It has to be the right match. Hence, if organisations are serious about employee empowerment, they need to ask this important question – what kind of leaders do they need to recruit?
An article by The World Economic Forum’s Global Leadership Index says 86% of experts believe the world is in the midst of a leadership crisis (World Economic Forum, 2015. Crisis in Leadership Underscores Global Challenges).
This crisis in leadership needs to be addressed. In fact, leadership could be the ‘making’ or ‘breaking’ of organisations, as Bennis (1984: 16) highlights:
‘If I have learned anything from my research, it is this: the factor that empowers the work force and ultimately determines which organisations succeed or fail is the leadership of those organisations.’
Employee empowerment is not about ‘telling’ people they are empowered. Leaders need to create the environment which makes employees ‘feel’ empowered. My findings reveal valuable information as to what kind of leadership style people prefer in an empowered organisation. It is established that a ‘people-oriented’ leadership style (Huq, 2010; 2015) is desirable. In my book, I have put forward a framework, referred as Huq’s Model D, for implementing employee empowerment (Huq, 2015).
Developing a people-oriented leadership style that supports #employee empowerment is a significant part of the process. It is the difference between success and failure in the practice of employee empowerment in organisations. Hence, for leaders a penchant for patriarchal attitudes and a passion for control is out, and important attributes such as, effective communication, collaboration, participative decision-making, devolution of responsibility, enabling, respecting diversity, mentoring and coaching, is in.
Leaders also need coaching. Through appropriate coaching, leaders can help themselves to learn and achieve these attributes in order to enable them to create conditions that motivate and #empower employees. Creating the right condition for empowerment to flourish in turn enables employees to accomplish tasks and develop their individual #talent and competence, thus adding value to organisations.
If you are applying for an important leadership position, allow yourself a few coaching sessions before going for that important interview!
Thank you for reading, until the next Huq Post ….