Do you feel empowered? Empowered at work? Empowered in general?
What does that feel like?
Being empowered should make you feel confident that you can change whatever it is that you think needs to be changed. Whether it’s a societal change like women’s rights, black lives matter, or something more mundane, like your work.
What’s the source of that empowerment?
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines empowerment as the granting of power, right, or authority to perform various acts or duties or the state of being empowered to do something: the power, right, or authority to do something.
In the first case, it refers to someone giving someone else power. Like a leader letting go and empowering their team. Leaders who are good at doing this without abandoning the team generally are considered better leaders than those who don’t.
But while I usually focus on leaders and leader development in this space, today I want to focus on the second definition – the state of being empowered to do something: the power, right, or authority to do something.
We are, as humans, here for a purpose. We were born empowered to realize that purpose. We may have to search for that purpose. We may have to scrounge up the resources for that purpose, but you see this every day in those people who are constantly giving and supporting.
We as Americans are also empowered by our constitution. We the people determine who governs and how we shall be governed. If we don’t like the way our country is being led, we are empowered to vote to remove the leadership. If we do like the way our country is being led, we are empowered to vote to keep that leadership.
We are empowered to vote. But we still might have to round up the resources to make that happen. We may have to overcome obstacles that have been put in place, like fewer voting places or requirements for identification – but these we overcome.
In Australia, they have elected to make voting mandatory. Here, it’s our obligation as citizens, but it’s not a legal requirement. If it were, would that change our feelings of empowerment?
Being empowered doesn’t mean that we’ve been given everything we need to succeed. But it does mean we can round up whatever we need and make something happen.
You are empowered. Find out what for, and get busy.
Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow.
Definition of empowerment
1: the act or action of empowering someone or something : the granting of the power, right, or authority to perform various acts or duties
Malcolm X, the eloquent spokesman for black empowerment who, in 1965, was gunned down at the age of 39 in New York city, continues to influence the political, social, and cultural climate of our society.— Joe Wood
Therefore, part of the cure for poverty was empowerment—training the residents of a poor neighborhood to organize themselves and learn to get things from the power structure.— Nicholas Lemann
2: the state of being empowered to do something : the power, right, or authority to do something
Education does not automatically result in women’s empowerment, as the social and economic context in which women live can pose overwhelming constraints on their choices.— Erin Murphy-Graham
The focus on getting a candidate elected is a way for voters wary of broken promises to gain a sense of empowerment.— John Dutton
Amid the uproar, he and his fellow students felt a budding—and maybe false—sense of empowerment.— James Graff
Like John Lennon, he brought the idea that through music, empowerment and words, you can really come up with world peace.— Wyclef Jean
“Empowerment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empowerment. Accessed 5 Sep. 2020.