Sticks and Stones May Break a Spirit

Leaders enable others to act

If you’ve ever been told “You’re not ready for that” or “That’s not in your wheelhouse” you know how powerful those words are. They are powerful in just how powerless they may make someone feel—sometimes for years afterward.

It’s really important, so I’ll say it again:

Leaders enable others to act

It’s one of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership researched by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner.

As you seek to enable others to take control and act on their own initiative, avoid disabling statements like the ones in this article.


Gwen Voelpel

Gwen Voelpel has 20 years of experience in coaching and mentoring leaders at all levels of organizations. She has an undergraduate degree in communications, a graduate degree in public administration, and has served as an executive leader in several organizations. Gwen is an accredited Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team and Everything DiSC Workplace Facilitator and a Certified Master in Training for The Leadership Challenge.