123 Chapters
Medium 9781576754689

The Missing Link

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

When the author called the entrepreneur’s cabin, he was greeted with a warm, hearty hello.

After introducing himself, the author said, “I’m sorry to disturb you at your cabin, Mr. Murray, but your assistant Evelyn told me you wouldn’t mind answering a few questions.”

“Please, call me Phil,” the entrepreneur said. “And by the way, I’m a big fan of your books.”

Within a couple of minutes, the author felt like he was talking to an old friend. When the author explained why he was calling, he could sense Phil’s excitement.

“I’ve been interested for a long time in ‘the missing link,’” said the entrepreneur.

“The what?” the author asked.

“The missing link,” repeated Phil. “That’s what’s lacking in the learning process when we just read books, listen to CDs, or attend seminars.”

“The missing link—that’s exactly what I want to find,” said the author. “People seem to enjoy the books I write, the CDs and videos we produce, and the seminars I conduct, yet I don’t see a lot of people actually using what they learn. The gap between what people know and what they do is driving me crazy!”

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Medium 9781626563339

11 The Refiring Gang

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In time, the Last-Minute Gang evolved into a Refiring Gang—a group devoted to supporting each other in approaching life with gusto, energy, and zest.

Instead of getting together at their house for the midsummer meeting of the gang, Larry and Janice encouraged their friends to participate in a walk-run 5K to stop diabetes in its tracks, followed by a potluck in the park. To their delight, everyone cleared their calendars for the event.

“Seen any good animated films lately?” Larry asked as he caught up with his friend Rob, who was moving along at a brisk pace.

Rob and Larry were in the lead, Janice and Alice were following at a good clip, Kelly was taking up the rear, and Phil—who was no longer using a cane—would be joining them for the last mile.

“I’m watching a lot fewer movies and doing a lot more walking,” said Rob, slightly out of breath. “The more I do this, the stronger I feel.”

“I see the finish line and the park up ahead,” said Larry. “I have to admit, I’m really ready for that potluck.”

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Medium 9781576751602

STAGE TWO: CHANGE AND DISCOURAGEMENT

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Once the process of the change to empowerment is underway, an interesting and stressful phenomenon invariably occurs. The reality of the challenge of reaching empowerment is always more difficult than expected. Everyone underestimates just how hard it will be to change old hierarchical habits to take on the new habits of empowerment. Furthermore, people also underestimate the difficulty of changing organizational systems that have been created to support a hierarchical organization to systems that support empowerment.

In this section, we will focus on this stage of Change and Discouragement. As in the first stage, we will explore how each of the three keys to empowerment can facilitate getting through this time, when many people just want to give up and go back to where they were before. Situational Leadership® II will provide a framework for guiding us to the right use of the three keys. Focusing on the three keys will furnish us the specifics. Again, our format will be to pose questions that leaders and team members tend to have about changing to empowerment when they are discouraged and in the midst of change. We will provide answers on how to get through a period that feels like being in free fall while sky diving in clouds. The plane is only a comforting memory, and the ground is not yet in sight. (And where is that ripcord, anyway?)

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Medium 9781576751602

CHAPTER 9: Key #1: Enhance Information Sharing to Drive Performance

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

For most people involved in the change-to-empowerment process, this third stage, Adopting and Refining Empowerment, comes as a breath of fresh air after the difficult stage of Change and Discouragement. And it is tempting for people to take their eyes off the vision of full empowerment, which is focused not only on involvement but also on responsibility and results. Empowered organizations involve far greater responsibility for everyone. They involve people voicing their opinions, disagreeing with each other, arguing for their positions, and feeling the pressure of performance responsibility. They also involve people feeling a sense of ownership, being listened to and understood, and making use of and further 202 developing their talents. Sometimes people focus too heavily on these positives as they try to distance themselves from the previous stage of discouragement. The thought of the more uncomfortable aspects of being empowered is a little scary for some people, though they may have trouble voicing those concerns.

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Medium 9781576751534

The First Key: Share Accurat Einformation with everyone

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

ASHORT TIME later, Michael found his way to the billing response center that served the company’s larger customers. Robert had suggested they meet there to get a firsthand look at the operation.

Michael was surprised that it appeared to be a fairly standard-looking operation, with the same kind of computers his own company used. The people even looked the same, except perhaps a little more engaged but also relaxed—almost like they were having fun. But at this point he didn’t know what to expect, so he decided to just try to take it all in and learn. That was why he was there, after all.

A young man approached him. “Hi, I’m Robert Borders. You must be the executive Amelia called me about. What can I do for you?”

“I just finished talking with Sandy Fitzwilliam, and now I need to talk with some people in your company about empowerment. But even though empowering people is my goal, I’m skeptical. I’ve tried to institute empowerment with my company, and, frankly, I haven’t seen much change. But I’m beginning to think we may have gone about it incorrectly—maybe I don’t even know what real empowerment is, much less how to create a culture of empowerment.”

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