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We’ve forgotten that a rich life consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it. We need the courage to question the powers that be, the courage to be impatient with evil and patient with people, the courage to fight for social justice. In many instances we will be stepping out on nothing, and just hoping to land on something. But that’s the struggle. To live is to wrestle with despair, yet never allow despair to have the last word.
Cornel West, from The Impossible Will Take a Little While


What is Empowerment? What it is not.

Empowering folks to lead includes seeing how our experience together shapes us beyond organizational needs. Iron sharpening iron…yes, indeed. 

EXCERPT FROM Tom Virtue’s “On the road to fruitfulness in its mission, Epic is about… Empowerment & Reproducing Leader”

Empowerment is also not just a matter of giving others a chance to prove themselves or “step up” to the occasion, even though sometimes an opportunity is all some people need.  Being an empowering leader of others is never only about the task at hand – it’s always about the person, and helping them to succeed and grow as a leader.  To develop leaders, we must do more than delegate and “just get out of the way.”

Empowerment means that there is a shared responsibility in dialoguing about what is needed to help a person succeed.  In most cases, it’s not enough to have an open door policy, where we put the burden on others to just “let us know” if they need help.  Yes, when we’re entrusted with responsibility, we need to communicate what we need help in, and take ownership of a situation ourselves.  But when we are the ones empowering others, we must also be willing to go out of our way to discover what will set up people to succeed.

We must always be asking the question: “What is going to help this person (or these people) succeed in what we are asking them to do?”

We’re glad that men and women who serve in Epic have united efforts with other individuals and organizations to help us launch the API Women’s Leadership Conference. Come connect with people of diverse backgrounds and build empowering relationships with one another! Register today and attend the APIWL May 3-5, 2012


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