Business Quotes to Inspire Empowerment and Delegation

Build up your team by sharing the load

Co-workers putting hands together at a team meeting
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Employers often wonder how to motivate employees and inspire them to work with more drive, dedication, and loyalty. In many cases, relinquishing power to the team in the form of empowerment and delegation is the only change needed to stimulate a workforce.

Many of the world's top minds believe that delegation is directly responsible for their success. Sometimes the greatest power lies in the ability to give it away, as many of these successful leaders have learned. Let their words inspire you to better empower your team.

Quotations About Empowerment and Delegation

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, professor of psychology

"Today many American corporations spend a great deal of money and time trying to increase the originality of their employees, hoping thereby to get a competitive edge in the marketplace. But such programs make no difference unless management also learns to recognize the valuable ideas among the many novel ones, and then finds ways of implementing them."

Timothy Firnstahl, "Harvard Business Review"

"Delegating means letting others become the experts and hence the best."

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

"The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it."

Blaine Lee, science fiction author

"The great leaders are like the best conductors. They reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players."

Monte L. Bean, drugstore magnate

"If there is ​any one axiom that I have tried to live up to in trying to become successful in business, it is the fact that I have tried to surround myself with associates that know more about business than I do. This policy has always been very successful and is still working for me."

Richard E. Krafve, vice president, Ford Motor Company, 1950s

"You can delegate authority, but you can never delegate responsibility for delegating a task to someone else. If you picked the right man, fine, but if you picked the wrong man, the responsibility is yours—not his."

Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, philanthropist

"Virtually every company will be going out and empowering their workers with a certain set of tools, and the big difference in how much value is received from that will be how much the company steps back and really thinks through their business processes, thinking through how their business can change, how their project management, their customer feedback, their planning cycles can be quite different than they ever were before."

Steve Jobs, Apple founder and former CEO

"It's not the tools you have faith in—tools are just tools—they work or they don't work. It's the people you have faith in or not."

Garry Wills, historian

"Not many of us will be leaders, and even those who are leaders must also be followers much of the time. This is the crucial role. Followers judge leaders. Only if the leaders pass that test do they have any impact. The potential followers, if their judgment is poor, have judged themselves. If the leader takes his or her followers to the goal, to great achievements, it is because the followers were capable of that kind of response."

Steven Johnson, media theorist

"Organizations that empower folks further down the chain or try to get rid of the big hierarchical chains and allow decision making to happen on a more local level end up being more adaptive and resilient because there are more minds involved in the problem."

Gloria Steinem, journalist, publisher, and political activist

"Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself."

George Smith Patton, Jr., World War II general

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."

Howard Schultz, Starbucks founder and former CEO

"People want guidance, not rhetoric. They need to know what the plan of action is and how it will be implemented. They want to be given responsibility to help solve the problem and the authority to act on it."

Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States

"Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you've decided upon is being carried out."

Bill George, businessman and financial scholar

"The role of leaders is not to get other people to follow them but to empower others to lead."

Stephen Covey, author

"An empowered organization is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organizational success."