Marcy Blochowiak on empowerment

Someone once advised Marcy Blochowiak that she would have to lead herself before she could lead others.

“Leader of one, leader of many,” Blochowiak remembers the rhyme. “If you can’t lead one, you can’t lead any.”

Now, Blochowiak, head of the Georgia-based financial services marketing firm World Financial Group, sees leadership as an honor and a chance to empower others.

“Many leaders make the mistake of thinking that when they reach the top, they can use their position to force certain behaviors from their subordinates,” she says. “We’ve all made the statement: ‘If I were in charge, things would be different.’”

But leadership is not a power trip, Blochowiak says. It’s about giving away power so that people can do their jobs.

True leadership, she adds, is self-evident. She points to Margaret Thatcher, the first woman elected prime minister of England. Thatcher became known as the “Iron Lady” because she stuck to her ideals for governing.

“Being in power is like being a lady,” Blochowiak recalls Thatcher saying. “If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

—Adapted from “No Glass Ceiling … Just Blue Sky,” Marcy Blochowiak, AdvantEdge.