Empowering Leadership: Traits & Examples

Empowering leadership is one of the most effective ways a leader can boost efficiency and employee retention in their work environment. With countless opportunities for distractions and criticism, it is vital that employers understand the importance of an empowering leadership style. Leaders that empower employees instead of micro-managing them make space for increased confidence and overall job satisfaction. Let’s define empowering leadership.

Empowering Leadership

What is Empowering Leadership?

Let’s start by answering the “what is empowering leadership?” question. The term means to place trust in employees and grant them authority to make decisions. Leadership empowering others creates a sense of autonomy and momentum to work together to achieve a common goal.

Empowering leadership is understanding the importance of being able to fully support a team by giving them the tools needed to be effective. Team members who are empowered feel more confident in their abilities and tend to deliver projects with greater care. By implementing an empowering leadership strategy, leaders allow employees to take ownership of their work, resulting in increased productivity, happier employees, and a healthy workplace culture.

Empowering Leadership Style

The empowering leadership style may seem risky compared to the old boss-employee relationship, yet studies have shown that empowering others increases time management effectiveness and decreases obstacles to productivity.

To some, the empowering leadership style might seem like it would take away respect from the employer. However, this style of leadership actually increases trust between employee and employer. It even helps eradicate any time-wasting activities that result from a lack of trust.

Empowering Leadership Characteristics

Empowering leaders share common behaviors. Here are some empowering leadership characteristics:

  1. They constantly remind others of the vision, taking time to share the overall goal and value that each team member has in achieving it. This allows employees to understand the importance of their role and provides motivation to bring their best self to work.
  2. They are effective communicators. Leaders who empower others are constantly adapting to new methods of communication. Whether through email, phone, text, or an app, empowering leaders take initiative to implement more effective pathways for communication for the benefit of the entire staff. This allows them to be available to resolve any inquiry or roadblock the team may face.
  3. They delegate effectively. Delegating builds trust and leads to empowerment. Leaders who empower show that they trust others, giving them authority to make decisions regarding their tasks and deliverables, reducing bottlenecking.
  4. They understand the value of each team member. Empowering leaders understand that each team member was hired to increase the value of the overall team and, therefore, is needed to achieve the goal. They show they value staff by listening to and acting upon feedback.
  5. They recognize value. Leaders empowering others not only understand the value each employee brings but are quick to acknowledge it. Whether that is through public or private acknowledgement, leaders understand that reward leads to confidence and allows the employee to increase efficacy through repetition. Public acknowledgement of a behavior or attitude spreads camaraderie among the staff and builds a healthy workplace culture.

Empowered Leadership Model

The empowered leadership model is the pathway to create healthy and strong teams, teams that can successfully follow the vision of the organization and take ownership for company-wide goals.

This leadership model is not built upon wishful thinking or random acts of kindness but on intentionality and consistency. Leaders who empower others build more leaders who can take the vision to its fulfillment and beyond. It is a model where input is considered and placed into action. The empowered leadership model is, ultimately, a structure in which strong teams are created.


Leaders who empower others understand that a vision is rarely achieved by just one person but by a team. Empowering leadership involves placing trust and confidence in staff members. Therefore, empowering leadership makes space for individuals to share creative ideas and also works to implement these when possible. Need help implementing empowering leadership into your organization? Inquire today about the leadership training we provide to F1000 orgs across the globe.


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Filed Under: Consulting skills, Leadership, Leadership & Management