Today our expert guest is Terri Klass, a leadership training consultant and speaker who partners with organizations to create cultures of empowerment and develop future leadership. She believes that, regardless of your position or title, anyone can be a leader.
Terri delivers highly successful leadership workshops, writes a weekly blog on the challenges leaders face daily, and co-authored the book Energize Your Leadership: Discover, Ignite, Break Through.
What does leadership empowerment mean?
Terri defines Empowerment as “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.”
Leadership empowerment takes it to the next level because we really need to take initiative to make something better in our personal or professional lives. To become more confident, stronger, and gain more control over our lives, we need to take action by leveraging our unique gifts and talents.
Leadership empowerment also involves taking responsibility and holding ourselves accountable for our own actions.
We all need control over our own lives, or to steer the boat of our own life’s direction.
However, sometimes something happens and we feel out of control. That’s when we need to locate our unique strengths and figure out how we can use them to take the control back.
We can discover our unique gifts by…
- Paying attention to why other people come to us for help. What are the specific things people turn to you for?
- Asking people that you trust, and feel confident with, what they perceive as our strengths.
Lead from where you are. You don’t need a title or a crown – you can lead from any position.
“The only thing we need to do, if we want to lead, is take action, take responsibility, and make a difference.” –Terri Klass
As long as we do our best and try to add value, we are leading, and through that we will keep growing.
You can’t empower everyone within an organization to lead from where they are if you don’t, first, create a culture of accountability.
Accountability is when everybody feels like they are part of something – a team and a vision. If they feel like they belong, and they feel like their contributions are appreciated, then everyone starts to perform at their peak.
What happens when there’s conflict, and people don’t feel empowered?
The most important part of dealing with conflict is listening. If you keep an open mind and an open heart, you can really hear how another person is feeling and understand their perspective.
Often, at the heart of conflict is a difference in perspective. If we talk about our different perspectives and come to a mutual understanding of how they’re different, we can figure out ways to blend those perspectives together.
The big thing we DON’T want to do is blame someone else when there is conflict – that’s the opposite of being accountable.
Energize Your Leadership shares stories from 16 different leaders about how each of them became exhausted and overwhelmed by conflict, and how they overcame those obstacles. It’s not a textbook – it’s all human stories that we can relate to.
The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway
“We all can lead from wherever we are, regardless of our title; regardless of our position. No matter where we are in life, we can be leaders. We don’t need to wait for someone to ask us to step up – we can step up ourselves and make the first move to help others, and in helping others actually help grow ourselves”
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