When people are involved in something that is organized, they sometimes need permission to act on certain things. Nobody wants a loose canon, right?
Other times people are held back by the idea that they need permission to act on things that do not actually require permission. Maybe it’s an excuse for being afraid. Maybe they are just indecisive. Whatever the reason, we periodically need to give a stamp of approval.
Here’s something to think about the next time you are in a leadership role where someone needs permission. Are you giving them responsibility, or authority?
If I say that I am giving you the responsibility to do something, it sounds like I am giving you a job to do, and I expect you to do it. Responsibility is positional. It moves from the bottom to the top. Responsibility can sound like a burden.
If I say that I am giving you the authority to do something, it sounds like I am validating your power. You are in charge of doing something due to your abilities, and your competence. Authority is a pat on the back.
Give people authority.