Thing 8: Empowering leadership: how do I empower others?


In Thing 8 you will look at how you enable others to develop and use their leadership capacity. We ask you to think about what part you play or could play in promoting a culture of empowerment and what you could do differently, or better to empower others.

Open Badge information

Open Badge: SSSC 23 Things Leadership – Thing 8: Empowering Leadership

You may find it helpful to complete Things 1 – 4 before starting Thing 8.


Through using the SSSC Codes of Practice you will examine how these can contribute to your empowerment of others. Through your day-to-day practice you may find you have opportunities to empower others, which could involve:

  • Making and taking opportunities to empower the children and families who use your service and their carers to achieve their best possible outcomes
  • How you collaborate with children and young people supported by your service to identify and achieve their personal outcomes — drawing on their strengths and assets to accomplish this
  • Empowering colleagues in your own team or partner organisations, as you work together to improve outcomes for children, young people, their families or carers
  • Listening to, valuing and acting on the expertise and contributions from children, young people, their families, carers, staff and the community
  • Promoting the principles of citizen leadership (Thing 19)
  • Ensuring everyone feels valued for their contributions
  • Sharing information that enables others to work more effectively, develop their practice or improve a situation
  • Modelling positive leadership behaviours that encourage others to exercise their own leadership
  • Building a culture in your organisation that empowers staff and children, young people, and their families to develop and use their leadership capability
  • Supporting professional autonomy and leadership from colleagues
  • Empowering people to be innovative, and to take appropriate risks
  • Working with colleagues in partner organisations to build collaborative leadership capacity
  • Using the SSSC Codes of Practice to ensure, children, young people and their families receive the highest quality of care and support.


1. Look at these videos of the SSSC Codes of Practice including the video with children and staff from Oranges and Lemons nursery in Dundee. This video looks at how the SSSC Codes of Practice relate to the working with children and families. The Codes of Practice set out the standards that social service workers and their employers should meet. 

2. Now, reflecting on your own experience and practice:

  • Think about an occasion when you have helped someone to recognise and exercise their own strengths and abilities.  This might be someone who uses your service, or a colleague.  Alternatively you could draw on experience from your personal life.  
  • Look again at the Leadership Logic Model – which of the logic model descriptors do you think apply to your example of empowering others?

3. Research called Enabling leadership identified what good leadership looks like in Scotland’s social services. The research proposed a theory of change and logic model. If you look at the Leadership Logic Model you will see there are descriptors under the headings for:

  • What do good leaders bring? 
  • What do good leaders do? 
  • How do good leaders engage? 

Many of these characteristics, behaviours and attitudes are essential in empowering and enabling others and can be seen in the SSSC Codes of Practice.  How does your work environment support you to empower others? 

4. Drawing on the example you thought about in step 3 write a statement (minimum 200 words) on what you have learned about empowering others. This should include reflection on how your own practice and leadership behaviours have empowered others. How have you used the SSSC Codes of Practice in your setting?

You can provide the statement on the Open Badge application form or provide a link to your own *blog/portfolio.  You may find it helpful to look at Recording Your Learning and Reflecting on Leadership. 

*If you want to use a blog or ePortfolio entry as evidence, you might find our guide to preparing and publishing your evidence useful. 

Click here to access helpful resources for Thing 8