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Before a person can take any action to lead their followers, they must be able
to recognize approximately where their followers are in the developmental cycle.
To do this, he or she must watch closely the actions of his or her followers and
determine to what degree their actions are being influenced dominantly by either
confidence or competence. Once the leader knows the point of confidence vs.
competence in his or her followers, he or she will know which factor to build
on. When the leader feels they have successfully motivated their followers to be
both very confident and competent, and that the followers are ready and have the
responsibility to lead themselves to their goal, then they know that at that
point, the followers are ready to accept some leadership themselves. Once the
followers are ready for some leadership of their own, the next problem at hand
becomes how to go about empowering them with the leadership responsibilities.
Needless to say, the leader cannot simply step away and allow the responsibility
to dump onto the followers; surely if that happened, they would quickly lose
confidence and possibly competence too. Instead, the leadership and
responsibility of the followers should be increased gradually as they are
steadily empowered, and at a rate that depends on how well the newly gained
leadership is handled. At all times though, the leader must be prepared to guide
or even realign the direction the newly independent followers take. The leader
must also realize the risk of failure in the complete empowerment of his or her
followers, as starting over completely is hardly possible. Were that to occur,
the subject would near definitely experience a severe loss of confidence as a
major consequence to a premature empowerment situation. And lastly, if a leader
is completely successful in empowering his or her subjects and has sent them
well off on their way to their ultimate goal, the leader must realize that
he/she has completed his or her own.
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Leadership, Industrial and organizational psychology, Social psychology, Strategic management, Management, Empowerment
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