The concepts of leadership that involves responsibility, power, and empowerment are normally related, but it is essential to begin with a basic definition of each. According to Cole (2004), empowerment relates to the use of an approach where personnel or employees are given a chance to portray their ability to make decisions that affect the running of an organization. Further, this concept of empowerment provides a sense of authority to the employees exercising it. Cole (2004) defines power as the capacity to be able to cause change by having a form of unaltered control over others. Responsibility, according to Cole (2004), relates to the concept of accountability. Personnel in higher levels of management in an organization expect their subordinates to conduct their activities with a high sense of performance.
The concept of empowerment is normally confused with the concept of power. According to Gill (2011), empowerment is a form of delegation that distributes power or shares it. Power in itself shows a need for control. In the management of organizations, power needs to be restrained within certain limits. Thus, one can view empowerment as a way of distributing power, and this may have significant benefits for an organization. The delegation of power to different personnel gives them the opportunity to perform. Once a person is empowered with a certain duty, one feels the need to ensure that the tasks assigned to him are performed to the best of his ability. This introduces the concept of responsible. If one is not responsible, one cannot be afforded the luxury of having a position of power or influence and may not be trusted with any form of influence in an organization. Empowerment helps employees to recognize the power they already have, thereby instilling confidence, which results to change in an organization. However, for this change to be effective, personnel in positions of higher authority have to instill the idea of accountability for there to be positive results (Ciulla, 2004).
A supervisor is empowered to have the ability to delegate work given by a superior authority or even a client. This means that the burden of responsibility mostly lies with the supervisor to oversee proper implementation of the set goals and targets. The supervisor can decide on the specific activities that will be carried, in what order, and by whom. Responding to feedback from workmates is equally important to avoid a dictatorial setup in the work environment. Delegation of powers and allocation of duties should be based on work experience and the area of expertise of specific persons.
Any piece of work that requires implementation must be accompanied by a work plan to avoid any confusion. Additionally, planning helps to ensure optimum use of available resources such as money, materials, workforce, and even time. The work plan that will be adhered is prepared by the supervisor since he is the one who is empowered to oversee efficient implementation of the project. It is his or her responsibility to make certain that all employees respect and stick to the set work plan. The work plan, if properly implemented will enable the project to be completed in the required time.
Ciulla, J. B. (2004). Ethics, the heart of leadership (2nd Ed.). Westport, Conn.: Praeger.
Cole, G. A. (2004). Management theory and practice (6th Ed.). London: Thomson Learning.
Gill, R. (2011). Theory and Practice of Leadership. London: SAGE.