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Empathy to Empower

As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.
– Bill Gates

In this modern world, a great transition is taking place in leadership concepts. Most of the renowned leaders talk about making leaders instead of making followers of them. Great leaders do not always just think about fulfilling their goals; instead, they seek to help others fulfill their ambitions. Equipping and empowering others or one’s team members to become efficient leaders themselves is probably the most challenging task that a leader must take up.

If a leader bears the mindset that doesn’t encourage his followers to outperform their own expectations and do better than even the leader herself/himself, s/he withholds certain secrets from them selfishly. Let us consider Jesus Christ, one of the most exemplary leaders of all time. He did not want his disciples to remain as they were. He was keen to add value to their lives, to the extent that they themselves would become excellent leaders, and he made this the passionate pursuit of his life. He said, “Those who follow me shall do whatever I do and more than what I do.” What a challenging statement this is!

To empower others, a leader needs to have empathy most importantly, without which s/he cannot understand another person’s feelings, needs, and perceptions. Empathy ultimately puts an individual in the shoes of others and enables her/him to see the world through their eyes. Being empathetic is a crucial quality that a leader has to develop in order to lead effectively.

We need to shift our focus from the self and put others before ourselves, in order to empower them. Theodore Roosevelt rightly said, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

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