Delegation vs Empowerment

Many organizations and people have a tendency to mistakenly use the words “delegation” and “empowerment” interchangeably, thinking that they are basically the same thing. This can become a fatal flaw. We’re not talking about simple nuance or semantics, but differences that will lead you in completely opposite directions. Recently I was in a conversation with some friends, discussing the differences between delegation and empowerment. This is my Top 5 List that I walked away from the conversation with:


Delegation                                          Empowerment

Freeing people to accomplish tasks                                     Freeing people to make decisions

Operate within the leaders preferences                              Operate within organizational values

The leader is the boss                                                             The leader is the coach

Builds more managers                                                           Builds more leaders

Leads to quality control                                                         Leads to innovation

Both types of skills and leadership styles are needed in any organization to function well. In fact you can grow a church both ways. But you can’t be a leader of 1000’s because one style attracts good managers…the other attracts good leaders.


Which is your natural style? What other differences would you add to the list? Leave a comment.

Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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