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Being the Servant Leader While Avoiding the Compassion Trap

Sep 20, 2020
It’s common to hear leaders talk about empowering their people--as in “I’m trying to empower my people, but I just can’t get them to take ownership.”

Imagine. I’m your manager, and I walk over to you carrying a pen and tell you to take it.  You grab it, but I won’t let go.

I look back at you, frustrated, asking, “what is wrong with you?”  “Why can’t I get you to take my pen?”

How’s that going to work out for me and you?

When Empowering Others Gets Misplaced

Empowerment means delegating power to others.  It's interesting to think that people need permission to take ownership.

Patty McCord, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix and author Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility, tells us that people already have power and to not take it away.

“A company’s job isn’t to empower people,” she says. “It’s to remind people that they walk in the...

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