A number of perspectives have emerged during the past 20 years that provoke critical examination of the way in which academic gerontology has defined old age as a problem and old people as a burden. Efforts to empower have suffered somewhat from the misuse and abuse of the term, and notably, its use as rhetoric to support programmes that pay lip service to the intention, yet fail to operationalize the construct within specific contexts or document outcomes. Leadership training cannot be considered apart from the organizational culture in which it is imbedded. When a programme is designed that reflects a deep understanding of the culture, the required training can then be offered that will increase the understanding of the leader-student, enhance his or her leadership skills, and improve the quality of leadership. Empowerment is expressed as a psychological process that makes people feel good. It also leads to individual and collective action that benefits the whole community.