You Are Empowered

You are empowered because I believe in you. For years the term empowerment was not used correctly. A lot of people used the term empowerment as a way of disguising delegation, which is very selfish. I have the confidence that you can go through this article and take action on the leadership principles being shared.

1. Empowerment

Empowerment is a term that is thrown around a lot when it comes to corporate language, especially when reading a company’s vision and values on posters around the office. I want this article to bring empowerment to life for you, instead of just a word on a poster.

I want you to feel empowered to have the autonomy and the power to achieve far more than you could ever imagine.

When we empower someone, it means we believe in them. I believe that you can achieve and build a life that you can be so proud of. Empowering a person is a decision, believing in a person is a decision.

With that decision we can build a strong relationship and build trust with that person. From building that trust and relationship, the person can then go on and do the same by empowering others.

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Empowering other people that we work with and depend on to get the job done can be difficult. You may be thinking “If I don’t know the person, how can I empower them and build trust?” There we have built a condition were we are judging a person too early, which is pretty selfish on our part.

If we take away that condition, it is very easy to empower a person and over time build a relationship and trust with them. We need to clear our minds of any pre-judgement and remain open minded.

There is a time in my life where someone I didn’t know very well empowered me. He didn’t have any condition on his mind or pre-judgement that I couldn’t be trusted, or he couldn’t build a relationship with me. I would like to share this story.

2. Good Relationships

I was 23 years old in 2006 and I was working in Liverpool, United Kingdom (my home town) for their train operating company. I had been there for about a year as an engineer. However, I felt stuck because I couldn’t see a way of progressing in my career unless I went to university and got a degree.

How was I going to afford that? It would have been very difficult for me to get a student loan because I was working full time. Where would I find the time to do it too?

It was suggested to me that I ask the engineering director if she would sponsor me to do a part time engineering degree at Liverpool University. After I built up the courage, this is exactly what I did. Within a few minutes of the conversation with her, I was told “No”.

I needed a business case (whatever that was) to be sponsored. So I asked for help with the business case but nobody in the engineering department knew what one was, never mind how to put one together.

In the end I very reluctantly scrapped the idea of going to university and just accepted that I would be where I was for the rest of my career. Until about a month later and we had a new engineering director, right out of the blue.

3. Asking Empowering Questions

Within his first week as the new director, he had a one to one with me. His first question was “What’s your ambition Tom?” I answered “To be sitting where you are, in your position and asking a young person the exact same question.”

He said “So, how are you going to get into my seat and my position?” I said “I want to go to university and get my degree in engineering”.

He automatically thought I had a degree, and was surprised when he found out I didn’t.

The conversation went on and then I went back to work. The next day I was told by him that I would be going to university in September to complete a part time engineering degree. I couldn’t believe it!

Through asking me just two simple questions, he had made the decision to empower me and go get my degree. Even better was, he empowered me to become a project engineer and take on far more responsibility. He knew I could do it, but I was a bit skeptical myself.

All this happened the day after I had met him, he didn’t know me, didn’t have any time to build trust, or build a relationship. He didn’t pre-judge or have any condition whatsoever.

He took a chance and empowered me. That was one of the turning points in my life and is probably the reason I am writing this article.

4. Thinking Positively

I thought our conversation was just a routine “getting to know you” catch up. I only mentioned the degree almost in laughing really; I was not expecting him to go through with it. He didn’t even ask me for a business case (whatever that is). He lit a fire in me and I hope I can light the same fire in you.

I started to get a bit nervous as September came around, and I even started to doubt myself. What if I can’t do it? Will I get fired if I fail? Am I intelligent enough to do a degree?

After a while I decided to stop the negative self-talk and just go for it. My best friend did a degree in psychology and he gave me a lot of encouragement. My friend was another who empowered me and believed in me. My motivation was to do the degree for myself and also for my new engineering director.

Negative talk comes from the environments we are in, and what the closest people to us are telling us. We believe what they are saying, and we start to tell ourselves the same stories. Why not only listen to ourselves, and tell ourselves positive stories that will help us?

I started university in September of 2006, part time, one day a week lectures and the rest of the week at work. I hadn’t long finished my apprenticeship so I was used to lectures but the level was so much higher.

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I took four years to finish my degree, including nearly failing the second year and almost having to re-sit the year. The feeling I had when I graduated was unbelievable. I didn’t have to surrender to a job for life. I have the potential and now the qualification to climb the ladder and push myself.

My thoughts were a lot more positive and things in my life became a lot more positive too. As I write this I can feel the positivity oozing out of me. I hope you feel the same as you read, and know that you have the potential too.

My story is not trying to convince you to go to university or college, my story is to help you to become more in life.

To become more in life, your thoughts must change.

Change is inevitable, it is a fact of life that things change. The only things we can really change is ourselves, and if you want to create a better future in your life and career then you must change you – NOW!

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

24 thoughts on “You Are Empowered

  1. Excellent article thank you for this useful information. You explained well with your life experience and the fact that a person is in fact what his thoughts are. I immediately remembered the book and writer Joseph Murphy (The power of positive thinking) I am sure that this article will empower many people to continue positively in the future with their work and discover their talents to progress in every sense. 🙂 I wish you success and health. I will share this article with my friends. 🙂

    1. Hi Zvezdan,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my post, means the world.

      It’s great that you share the book “The Power of Positive Thinking”, as I will make sure that’s on my list of books to read this year. I hope people who read this article add this book too.

      Keep sharing your great articles too and all the best,

      Tom

  2. Hi Tom,
    “I believe in you” is a powerful statement. It reminds me of someone I know, who always uses that line for closing his blogs. I always liked it, and must admit I was a bit jealous. I wanted to use it, but I wouldn’t copy someone else’s phrase. None the less, it is inspiring!
    And in the end it is ourselves who must take the ball and run with it. Sometimes it is a bit scary, but change can turn our lives completely around. Thanks for sharing this empowerment!

    1. Hi Chas,

      Thank you for your kind comment.

      I agree that “I believe in you” is a very powerful statement, and anybody who comes to my website to read my articles or look into my products, I believe in them to want to become a highly effective leader. Just like you!

      Keep up the great work and all the best,

      Tom

  3. Hi Tom. What a great article on empowerment. Really, happy I came across it. I loved your story from your company. I’d like to ask you a question though: What do you think was the reason the second supervisor gave you the chance to study and the first one not? I have also some people in my life, who totally believed in me, and through their open minds, I was and am able to make steps I haven’t thought, I’d be possible to do. God bless those guys. Will come to your website more often. Is a great source of inspiration. Cheers

    1. Hi Julius,

      I appreciate your kind words on my article.

      The reason my second Engineering Director gave me the chance to study was because he understood what it meant to help develop your people and he built a great relationship with me. The first Engineering Director hardly knew me so why would she do anything for someone she didn’t build a relationship with?

      Keep building those relationships you have with your people and empower them where you can.

      All the best,

      Tom

  4. I loved the article as it shows perseverance. This is what I did with all my businesses even when things looked dark.
    I was also an engineer but I quit to follow a laptop lifestyle which was not easy to get to and required all the aspects you mentioned.

    1. Hi Thabo,

      Thank you for your comment and kind words.

      Congratulations on living the laptop lifestyle and I hope it is going well in your online business.

      All the best,

      Tom

  5. We like that way you explained empowered not just the way everyone knows it as delegation. And this is wrong for us to think of this empowerment that way.
    You broke this down for us we learn new words and meanings on this website.

    Thanks again for a positive story of you are empowered. We feel empowered to get things done and think positive and help each other out with non negative words.

    Cheers,
    MnD

    1. Hi MnD,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, means the world.

      You are right, empowerment is not just about delegation. Empowerment is about giving your power away and giving your people the freedom to use that power in the right way.

      Keep empowering your people and inspiring them with your amazing message.

      All the best,

      Tom

  6. Having the right mindset and believing in your own ability is such a powerful way of empowering yourself. It’s also how you need to be if you want to achieve anything.

    Too many people are trying to put you down, so having ways of pushing back are such an important thing.

    Thanks for the share…

    1. Hi John,

      It was my pleasure to share.

      Empowering yourself first is so important before we start empowering others, and mindset is fundamental in making that happen. I couldn’t agree with you more.

      Keep empowering yourself and your people and helping them to grow the mindset of a highly effective leader.

      All the best,

      Tom

  7. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story, it really shows the importance of empowerment. So often we are limited by our own thoughts and perceptions, but when we can find a way to break through those boundaries and access our inner power, anything is possible.

    Remembering that we are never alone in this journey is really uplifting.

    There are people out there who want to help, support and be there you. So don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. And most importantly, never give up on yourself. You are capable of greatness!
    What a message.

    Thanks for sharing, Tom.

    1. Hi Femi,

      Thank you for your comment, I am pleased that you found my article inspiring.

      I couldn’t agree more that people who need help should feel empowered to ask for it. Whether that be asking a colleague, line manager, friend or family member. We need to empower ourselves before we empower others.

      All the best,

      Tom

  8. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for this post. I can relate to it. My boss allows me to decide many things under a limitation. I can make the final decision if items do not exceed the limit. By empowering me, his workload reduces, and I become cautious with every decision. My stories may not be as inspiring as yours, but I hope it helps your readers. 🙂

    Matt

    1. Hi Matt,

      It’s great that you can relate to my post.

      Thank you for sharing your current experiences with your boss. It’s great that he empowers you, it would be great if you could expand on the limitations you are talking about.

      All the best,

      Tom

  9. To be empowered I think it is essential to surround yourself with positive people that believe in you and that can encourage you to reach your full potential.

    The above mentioned are also the characteristics that are important when considering yourself an effective leader that can have a real positive impact in the workplace.

    1. Hi Schalk,

      Couldn’t agree more that we must surround ourselves with the right people, if we can find them.

      People who encourage us, empower us and inspire us can only help us to get better each day.

      Keep searching for those people and keep inspiring the people who you are surrounded with already.

      All the best,

      Tom

  10. Interesting article Tom!

    Empowerment is a word bandied around in many organization’s without the true application by many leaders. Only few make that decision to build a strong relationship and build trust with someone they have chosen to empower. .The story about your company demonstrated this very clearly. Only a true leader doe this!

    Ceci

    1. Hi Ceci,

      Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts.

      Not a lot of people know or understand what exactly empowerment means or what is required to empower a person.

      For a highly effective leader, it is so important to empower our people if we want to keep building our relationships and gaining trust & respect.

      Keep empowering your people and building on those relationships you have already forged.

      All the best,

      Tom

  11. Wow what an epic, inspiring, and amazing story! I feel you really captured the essence of the word “empowered” in this article. It seems like the original supervisor you interacted with did not care at all for the people under her and I am so glad a new person who truly cared to empower you! I loved the whole thing but really liked the section on positive thinking as well because I think that is incredibly important. I have had 2 assistants so far and I tried to be empowering to them however they mainly seemed interested in “:doing their time” and going home, even though I was willing to help them grow personally and professionally. I guess empowerment is a 2 way street in that the people you are leading have to desire that empowerment as well as having a leader who is willing to provide it. Look forward to reading more from you!

    1. Hi Randi,

      Thank you so much for your detailed comment, means a lot.

      You’re right, the original supervisor did not care, and as a leader it is imperative that actually do care for your people. If you don’t care then you are not going to build trust. Without trust you cannot influence a person, and without influence you cannot lead. It’s as simple as that.

      Keep thinking positive and keep caring for your own people.

      All the best,

      Tom

  12. Hi Tom,

    I have never been given an opportunity like yours and climbed corporate ladders without any help or training. I now empower my employees in a similar way to what was given to you. Taking a chance on someone and showing your confidence in their ability is a great motivator. I applauded you for using that opportunity to help others by empowering them to become their best versions of themselves.

    Thank you,
    Chastity

    1. Hi Chastity,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, means a lot.

      I really appreciate your kind words and applauding me, that means even more.

      Do your best to make your own opportunities in helping others and empowering them. Keep building on the relationships you already have, grow that trust and increase your influence as much as you can.

      All the best,

      Tom

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