By Sigrid C. Shun
When I joined the Metro Pacific Tollways group, I started with one direct report. Now, I lead a team of nine HR and Administration people who deliver services to NLEX.
In my 19 years with the group, I have worked with different HR team members. They are different in the sense that each has its own unique personality, level of competencies, and quirks.
No matter the differences, I trust each team member to perform their work. While it can sometimes feel uncomfortable to give others this power, especially if you are responsible for their mistakes, it is necessary to build empowerment.
Everyone makes mistakes. I make mistakes. But the trust given to me, made me learn from them and move forward without my losing the trust given me. Likewise, it is essential to give each of our team members the benefit of the doubt if they make a mistake that it’s acceptable and expected.
As a leader, I try to create an environment where my team is self-directed and can make choices about their task, their time, and their technique. With this leeway, my team is accountable for their work. Nonetheless, as a team, we work with the assumption that we are operating in a place where goals are clear and feedback is immediate.
So, if empowering others has its risk, why then do we persist?
For me, when people continue to learn, they grow. And when they grow, they become better versions of themselves in the long run. As Daniel H. Pink, author of the book Drive, says, “We’re born to be players, not pawns. Together, let’s grow through what we go through.