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Benjamin R. Case

Benjamin R. Case

CEO and Senior Consultant,
Focused On Fundraising, Inc.

Highly Successful Leaders Empower Employees

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” Thus, a highly successful leader has to empower his or her employees. 
How does a leader build this kind of work environment?  

  1. Create the Culture: To create an environment that empowers employees, you must first establish that culture, allowing for creative thought and problem solving. When there are concerns and complaints, the leader must step up and say, “Okay, now what are we going to do to solve this problem?” The leader helps employees look for solutions and move forward. 
  2. Lift People Up: A highly successful leader lifts up employees by providing a vision and a meaningful purpose for their work. Everybody has different levels of experience, and a highly successful leader encourages and provides motivation for employees along the way, regardless of where they are.
  3. Provide Resources: This includes financial resources to solve problems, as well as appropriate salary and bonuses. It also includes time for people to work on solutions and do their best work. Providing resources includes providing the expertise needed for employees to achieve goals, sometimes from outside sources. I am currently retained by a nonprofit to contribute my perspective as they design and build a principal gift program. My expertise will ensure that that organization’s employees are empowered to build the best program.
  4. Education: This specific resource can include training, coaching, and mentoring for employees. We all have experience and knowledge gaps. A highly successful leader will keep educating employees to fill those gaps. A leader should also provide as much wise counsel and forward-thinking direction as possible to compensate for any weaknesses or inexperience among employees.
  5. Confront the Tough Stuff: What are the significant obstacles preventing you from maximizing your nonprofit’s success? How do we confront and solve those problems? How do we recognize and take advantage of significant opportunities? Leaders are not afraid to face challenges and difficulties, providing employees with help as appropriate to make sure they are on track to find the best solution.
  6. Accountability: Leaders hold employees accountable. Everyone needs to evaluate progress objectively when developing solutions. A highly successful leader gives feedback and provides correction when necessary. One leader I work with calls this “being the adult in the room.” Someone has to say “no” when employees are off course. Offering a more productive direction to empowered employees enables them to help the whole team achieve excellent outcomes.
  7. Support the Solution: Once a solution is found, highly successful leaders will do what is necessary to support it. Not always needing to be in the front seat, the leader should empower employees to drive the solution.  

A highly successful leader empowers employees to provide the best solutions to the most difficult problems and to transform them into promising opportunities—all toward achieving a shared goal.  

By the Numbers

Consider the recruitment opportunities for your organization that these stats indicate:

  • About 63 million Americans (25% of the adult population) volunteer their time, talents, and energy to making a difference.
  • These people spend an average of 52 hours/year volunteering.
  • 72% of volunteers are involved with only one organization, while 18.3% are involved with two.

Random interesting stats presented monthly from various sources.