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Enable Others to Act

LEADERS KNOW that they can't make extraordinary things happen all by themselves. Achieving greatness requires a team effort, so leaders invest in building trust and in developing enduring relationships. They know that as organizations become increasingly diverse and dispersed, physically and globally, collaborative skills are more important than ever to navigating conflicting interests and natural tensions.

Mutual respect is what sustains extraordinary group efforts. Leaders build the skills and abilities of their constituents to deliver on commitments. They create a climate where people feel in control of their own lives.

To Enable Others to Act, you foster collaboration by building trust and facilitating relationships, and you strengthen others by increasing self‐determination and developing competence.

Here are examples from personal‐best cases we've collected of how leaders Enable Others to Act:

  • The first order of business for a program manager in a multinational technology firm was to learn how to trust her employees. She wanted to develop a cohesive and collaborative team, with trust as the framework. She began by creating an environment in which people felt comfortable asking questions and making mistakes. She talked with each person about mutual expectations and progress on key objectives, helped them develop working relationships with others outside ...

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