164 Slices
Medium 9781576751602

STAGE TWO: CHANGE AND DISCOURAGEMENT

Ken Blanchard 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 9781626561984

An Insight with Impact

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

As the new week began, Debbie had a fresh take on the world. She even brought some flowers into the office and put them by the front desk where everyone could enjoy them. She had a new-hire interview scheduled for Tuesday. This time she asked Human Resources to give her two meetings with the candidate and to schedule ninety minutes for each session— not her usual thirty minutes. Following Jeff’s lead, Debbie prepared a short list of references for the candidate. She knew that some of the people might not give her an entirely positive reference, but she wanted to be up-front and honest.

On Tuesday Debbie met with the candidate, a woman a few years older than herself. At the end of their meeting Debbie said, “Thank you for your time today. If you’re still interested in the job, I want you to come back for another meeting. I know this is a major decision for both of us, so next time, I want you to interview me. Ask anything you like. Also, I’ve prepared a short list of personal and professional references for you. You may call them if you like, but you are under no obligation. I have to be honest with you, though. Some of these people may not have the most glowing things to say about my past leadership. But I am committed to becoming a great leader, and I see it as a journey. This team is going to do amazing things, and you may be one of the people to help us.”

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Medium 9781626560604

6 The Home Stretch: The Fourth Quarter

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

6

Ken: Because I had gained a couple of pounds over the summer, I decided I needed to do something in September to give myself a little extra boost on the nutrition and weight control part of my program. I kept hearing Ted Leitner, the radio play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres baseball team, talk about Medifast: “If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, Medifast will get you results.” So not too long after we returned from Skaneateles, I thought, Why not? Maybe it can get me over this weight plateau.

I called Dr. Rice to get his feedback. He checked out Medifast in his circles with positive results. The combination of healthy choice meals together with prepackaged meals and snacks seemed to make sense, and these foods were nutrition balanced. I went ahead and made an appointment at a nearby location. When I went in for my appointment, the woman who ran the office gave me an overview of the Medifast system and the best strategy for me. I was impressed, so I joined. It’s not cheap, but I thought it was worth it.

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Medium 9781626560604

5 Heading into Summer: The Third Quarter

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

5

Ken: I look forward to June every year, but this June was especially sweet because it started out with my 50th reunion at Cornell. Margie and I both graduated from Cornell—she was a year behind me—so we developed many good Cornell friendships together. The reunion was a great excuse to get together with this group as well as a lot of other good people.

It was hard to imagine that 50 years had gone by since we graduated. Tim and I have mentioned a few times that I was starting to get a number of “You’re looking good” comments. That phrase was originated by Frank Rhodes, who was president of Cornell when I was getting my doctorate. Frank used to say, “There are three stages of life: youth, adulthood, and ‘You’re looking good.’” At the opening cocktail party, just for the fun of it, Margie and I went in different directions to see how many “You’re looking good” comments we would get. After about a half hour, we found each other and compared notes. I beat her by one—I had eight “You’re looking good” comments to Margie’s seven. So for me, that was an important mission accomplished. The reunion was a ball. I probably drank a little too much beer, but I was grateful to be alive and getting more fit week by week and month by month.

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Medium 9781626561984

An Engaging Conversation

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In the days that followed, Debbie realized that old habits were hard to break. On several occasions, she found herself engaged in all-too-familiar activities: specifically, fighting fires and making decisions that others should or could make. However, she didn’t do these things quite as often, and when she was able to restrain herself, she found that she had more time to think about the questions from her last meeting with Jeff. The more she worked on them, the more excited she became. She felt as though the picture of the future she was creating was generating some passion in her. Plus, as she began to share her vision, she found others wanting to get in on the action as well.

Debbie talked with each member of her team. With their help she was able to develop at least a partial answer to each of Jeff’s questions about Seeing the Future. She was eager to share her insights and progress with him.

The day of their next mentoring meeting finally arrived. As Debbie approached Jeff’s office, she was greeted by his assistant. “Jeff will be about five minutes late this morning. May I get you some coffee?”

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