Elixan Consulting
Performance Leadership Engagement


leadership, culture, performance

Sign up to get new blog posts straight to your inbox. 

Stop waiting for the empowerment fairy

Recently I have had a number of conversations where people have said they are not empowered. And leaders should empower them.  They were waiting.  Waiting. Waiting. I wondered what their picture of being empowered looked like. Would they be sprinkled in magic dust by the empowerment fairy and suddenly they had all they needed to achieve what they wanted?

Gloria Steinem says: Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.

Steinem's quote resonates for me.  The process of empowerment is messy.  It takes grit, risk and determination.  You may have to upset the applecart. You certainly face hearing rejection.  You also risk being successful.

We are not handed power.  Each leader must make their power legitimate.  A stroll through English monarchs reminds us that even a birthright is not a right.

Stephen Covey talks about circles of influence and circles of concern.  When we focus on changing things in our circle of influence our power grows. When we focus on all the things outside our circle of influence that circle of influence actually decreases!  By constantly looking at what we feel we cannot change we become victims.

If you are waiting to for the empowerment fairy, why not try this experiment? Ask yourself:

  • Are you really waiting for?
  • What is in my circle of influence?  How will I expand it?
  • Who can help me?
  • Who will I help?

Would love to hear your stories.