My definition of business leadership: influence how other people think so they make decisions that improve results for the organization in a sustainable way.
Comment from audience member: “Influence is the wrong word. Leadership is about empowerment.”
Definition of empowerment from dictionary.com: to give power or authority to; authorize, to enable or permit:
To me, business leadership is about both. You should empower people to make their own decisions, but you still have the responsibility to influence how they think. What are the three or four steps that you encourage people to think through before making a decision? What are the key items or values that you want people to consider before making a decision?
They may not reach the same decision you would have, but it might be an even better one because you influenced how they think and then gave them the room to make their own decision.When it comes time to make a decision, give them the room to think on their own. Your influence should have occured before a decision needed to be made. If you step in and influence how people think as they are making a decision, you will come across as micro-managing them.