Too often conversations about teamwork, delegation, and empowerment, I hear comments like, “but what if they don’t come up with the right answer?”, or some variation thereof.

It’s a red herring.

Think of a problem.

Now think of 10 ways to resolve the problem.  Force yourself to come up with 10 different solutions.

Consider the answers.  In all likelihood 5 or more of them are ridiculous.  So let’s eliminate those.

Now consider the problem and the remaining solutions.

Most of the time the proper evaluation is not “which of these is the most correct?”, but “which of these will resolve the issue?”

The answer is, usually all of them.

There is more than one right to most situations.  And given that, why do we get in the solution being the “right” one – the one we want?

Is it More Important to Be Right, or to Advance The Organization?

Think of the confidence we develop in our team when…

  • We allow them to take ownership “be right”
  • We allow them to make the decision
  • We allow them to make mistakes
  • We allow them to demonstrate their thought processes

Alternatively, when we insist our decisions are the only “right” ones, we…

  • We destroy initiative
  • We consistently make them “wrong”
  • We teach that avoiding mistakes is more critical than trying
  • We never know what they might do on their own

Either way, you have a learning environment.  The question is, what do you want them to learn?

Struggling with the change from control to empowerment?  Contact me here.


“Empowerment isn’t a buzzword among leadership gurus. It’s a proven technique where leaders give their teams the appropriate training, tools, resources, and guidance to succeed.”

– John Rampton



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