Portman Says Effective Leaders Empower Their Employees

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Empowering the people who serve beneath a leader is an important part of leadership, says U.S. Sen. Rob Portman. 

The Cincinnati-area Republican is stepping down next year at the end of his second term in the U.S. Senate.

Portman spoke June 18 with Jeff Leo Herrmann, CEO of the Youngstown Publishing Co., as part of The Business Journal’s Brain Gain Leadership Podcast.

Following his father’s example, Portman said he attempts to lead by empowering those working for him, as well as by working harder than anyone else, not asking anyone to do anything he wouldn’t do, and treating everyone with respect.

“By doing so, you can accomplish so much more, in my view,” he said. Some people try to over-lead, while his approach is more laid back.

Assigning responsibility to accountability is another important component of leadership, he continued. People take that as a challenge and like to be held accountable,

assuming the leader is fair in terms

of what their measurement of success is.

“In other words, if you’re setting someone up to fail, it will have a demoralizing effect on the entire organization,” Portman said

“But setting people up to succeed by giving them accountability at a time in their career when they can handle it, you get a certain amount of fulfillment,” he said.

“You get the dignity that comes with that, the self respect that comes with that – [both are] an important part of leadership as well.”

Other topics Portman addressed during the podcast include the positioning of the region as Voltage Valley, the importance of economic diversification, his role in attempting to broker an infrastructure deal and what led him to enter politics.

The Brain Gain Youngstown Leadership Podcast is published every Wednesday at BusinessJournalDaily.com and on Spotify.

To listen to all of the podcasts, go to BusinessJournalDaily.com/series/brain-gain-leadership-series/

Pictured: U.S. Sen. Rob Portman was interviewed for the Brain Gain Leadership Podcast.