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Daily Ten Minutes


Empowerment vs. Delegation


Delegation is assigning a task to an individual to complete. Normally with delegation instructions and expectations on the completion of the task is either communicated or understood.

Empowerment is entrusting an individual with the authority to make their own decisions on when and how to perform a task or complete a task without having to be instructed.

Good employers use both delegation and empowerment with employees. Usually, more delegation is used with new employees or new individuals in new positions, but as an individual becomes more experienced in their work or position delegation is used less frequent and empowerment used more.


Delegation Empowerment
  • Here’s what I need from you.
  • This is how you do it.
  • This is what I want it to look like.
  • This is what you need to do next.
  • I’ll give you the last 5%.
  • I own it.
  • Here’s where I see this going?
  • Concrete
  • Toe the company line.
  • Tasks
  • No room for other leaders
  • Guided by preference
  • Here’ may opinion.


  • What do you need from me?
  • This is your role.
  • This is where we’re going
  • This is where it fits in the big picture.
  • I’ll let you contribute the last 5%
  • You own it.
  • Where do you see this going?
  • Fluid
  • Pushback is encouraged
  • Results
  • Room for other leaders
  • Guided by values
  • What’s your opinion?



Here’s the reality. It’s a lot easier to delegate tasks. And, there are instances, particularly in emergency response situations, where delegation is necessary. In the long run, though, empowering other leaders is the way to build healthier organizations. It will be messier along the way, but you end up in a place where your organization can have a much bigger impact and more people will be fulfilled in their roles.