Empowering Is Disempowering.

Rod Aparicio
2 min readApr 8, 2022


If you can empower (give power to others), you can also disempower. Control over others is not leadership. It’s cringy.

You’re taking away the sense of agency — independence, decision making, intent.

What you can do is create an ecosystem for people to feel empowered. So they can have agency on doing whatever it is they have to. So they own it for themselves.

How to create an ecosystem to make them feel empowered:

  1. Intent based leadership. They can set the intention and after doing the thinking, seeing pros and cons, they’re ready to act; unless there’s a veto for that action.
  2. Leader to leader model. You create the environment for them to be at their best, not to turn them into followers and wait for you to decide. Let them gain agency over themselves.
  3. Give up control. Build the systems for them to be competent. The more competence they acquire, the safer they’ll feel, the better they’ll act and they’ll be aligned into making legendary things happen.

Mistreats of “empowering”

If you can disempower me, I wont be able to own whatever it is I’m supposed to nor to take responsibility for the consequences. There will always be room for excuses or inaction. I’ll comply. Avoid mistakes. And for sure won’t own it.

You can’t empower your clients either. That means that being with you is a dependency relationship — like a drug.

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Rod Aparicio

Strategy Designer for Indie Consulting Firms