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Finding the Balance: The Key to Effective Leadership Lies in Empowerment and Taking Charge

There is a debate about the best way to lead. Some say you should empower your team and let them take charge, while others believe you must take charge and ensure things get done. Both approaches are essential, but only if you know how and when to use each effectively.

While empowering your team may seem like the right way forward because it gives them freedom over their work and allows them autonomy over their tasks, this can also lead us down a path where we become less involved in what's going on around us--and therefore less aware of potential problems or opportunities for improvement within our organization as a whole. For an organization's culture (and thus its productivity) not only to stay strong but grow stronger over time through continuous improvement efforts by all employees across various departments within said firm's walls, leaders must learn how to balance between empowering others while still being able to take charge themselves when necessary."

The Benefits of Shifting Between Modes

While it's essential to be able to shift between modes, you also need to be clear about which mode is appropriate for the situation. For example, if you're in a meeting with your team and someone asks a question that requires divergent thinking, it can be helpful to take a moment before answering so everyone has time to process their thoughts. In contrast, convergent thinking might be more beneficial when working through an issue with one of your direct reports or peers who report directly up through the hierarchy (e.g., an executive assistant) because there isn't as much time for discussion and brainstorming among all parties involved. Similarly, creating psychologically safe environments where people feel comfortable sharing ideas without judgment allows employees who have been asked for their input during meetings or conversations with managers or colleagues to have more opportunities for divergent thinking than those who feel pressured into giving only "right" answers."

Increasing the Ability to Shift Modes

  • Questioning assumptions about power.

  • Studying habits.

  • Setting clear expectations.

  • Reinforcing shifts with words, deeds, and body language.


Finding the right balance between empowering and taking charge is the key to empowering your team. While taking charge is essential, it's also important not to micromanage your employees' creativity.

You should create an environment that encourages and rewards both empowerment and leadership so that everyone on your team can grow into their full potential as leaders--and so you can benefit from their expertise in the long.

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