Learning from mistakes is a key for benevolent and empowering leaders because power tends to concentrate on certain elements of interest and this may unconsciously daunt others’ interest over time. Because roles of power are fluid in collaborative groups, part of a leader’s job is to sense when and how to pass the power on. Power circulates, and we can trust that, when we let go, others will take on the tasks and responsibilities, freeing us up to find new areas of interest and new challenges if not, your workplace suffers some failures.
You can’t avoid them, but you can use them to learn what to do better or avoid the next time around. Imagine a restaurant where the manager has charged the employees with creating a work schedule and one lunch hour the restaurant finds itself with too many customers and too lazy employees, food quality and customer satisfaction suffer. Did the manager fail to review the plan? Were the employees careless in their scheduling? Did several fail to come to work? Examining all the reasons for a failure allows you to prevent it from recurring. In the scenario above, the restaurant manager and the crew can scrutinize each part of their operation front desk, kitchen, serving, and clearing and determine how many additional workers are needed. Contacting them ahead of time, soliciting their business and asking them to call before coming, would alleviate the problem and boost revenue.
Don’t keep your findings to yourself. Share them with your workforce—what you’ve learned, and what you plan to do differently. Then update your procedures and training to ensure mistakes don’t happen over and over again. Remember, most countries in the developed world have established mechanisms for providing impartial scientific advice to inform decisions made by policymakers. But in the developing world, and especially in the forty-eight least developed countries, including South Sudan, such mechanisms are usually lacking. These countries are extremely poor and struggle with issues of hunger, disease and governance. Increasingly, these problems are aggravated by weaknesses in systems for scientific advice.
“Rwanda, an example to learn and accept our faults”
As Rwanda sought to rebuild after the horrors of the 1994 genocide, its development strategy emphasized science and technology. Under President Kagame’s direction, the government began to pursue a holistic approach to easing poverty, improving health and increasing stability through science. Throughout this process, Rwanda worked in close partnership with the scientific and development sectors of other nations and international organizations. But these relationships did not follow the old model of dependence; rather, Rwanda set goals to address its needs, and worked with partners who supported the nation in its efforts to be great now.
“How South Sudan Could Move on speedily in new Unity Government”
An empowering leader holds and serves a vision broad and deep enough to inspire others and allow them to take parts of it and make it their own. This helps to develop a strategy—a plan for getting from here to there, with milestones and goals along the way. SH/e rarely uses Command mode. Sometimes, sh/e leads by example and persuasion. But when command is called for, an empowering leader will step forward and then step back into a more democratic mode once the need has passed. We expect a leader who puts the needs of the group first. SH/e thinks about how each of his actions will affect the group. All of this is, of course, the ideal. We can strive for it, but most of us will fall short in one way or another. An empowering leader makes mistakes. If sh/e doesn’t, sh/e’s probably not experimenting enough. SH/e is a good learner, an experienced and willing apologizer, someone who can make amends and move on.
Empowering others not only gets things done, but it sends out positivity in a group atmosphere. When everyone feels in control and like they have a piece of the pie, more work gets done, and results improve. Whether you’re looking to empower your citizens, employees, children, or a general group of people, positivity, confidence, and opportunities go a long, long way.