164 Slices
Medium 9781576751534

The Empowering Manager

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

MICHAEL happened to notice an article sitting on his desk. The title caught his attention: “Empowerment Takes More Than a Minute.” In spite of his recent skepticism, this title intrigued him and he started reading the article. The author insisted that empowerment works, but it takes courage and time to get there. The article stated that you can’t tell people to act empowered and expect them to just do it— exactly what he had done six months ago. If they have little or no past experience or involvement in decision making, they won’t know what to do. They may talk like they want to make more decisions about their work, but they will not be comfortable with the downside risk of responsibility.

Citing an example of one company’s success in empowering its people, the article went on to rave about the turnaround of a communications hardware company that had been caught napping by the advent of the exploding communications technology demands. The manager, some guy named Sandy Fitzwilliam, was credited with having an incredibly motivated staff who acted as if they owned the company. In fact, the article referred to Fitzwilliam as “the Empowering Manager.”

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Medium 9781605093482

Chapter Ten Puppy Love: Teaching Pet Care

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

IT WAS A RAINY morning and the SeaWorld coaches and trainees were gathered in the training room. Head trainer Clint said, “I noticed some of you were working on the animals’ dental hygiene the other day. It made me think about what a far cry those procedures are from what we went through back when I first started in this job.”

“Who was president then, Clint?” Jared, a trainer coach, asked from the back of the room. “George Washington?” Good-natured kidding was part of the SeaWorld culture, and the remark brought guffaws from the audience.

“I can’t remember,” Clint replied, playing along. “I just know it was back in the horse-and-buggy days. Anyway, looking back to those times, I can’t believe how naive we were, how lacking in even a rudimentary understanding of these killer whales, compared to today. We were going strictly by trial and error.

“As you know, when we’re working with a baby whale, we spend a lot of time before getting in the water with him, establishing trust with him and the mother. Getting the mom’s trust is the main thing. She has to trust us tremendously to allow us in the water with her little baby.”

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Medium 9781576753606

10. Life Aligning Question Two: The Focus Question

James Steffen Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

ELEANOR SAID, I understand from Coach that both of you also feel frustrated because you never get it all done. Youre looking for better professional-personal life balance, and you want a method to bridge the gap between what you really want and your here-and-now actions. Is that right?

Thats right, said Carol. When we got married, we dreamed about spending a lot of time together. Now that we have two kids, of course, we need to spend time with them. There is always too much to do and we never get it all done. Eleanor, Im especially interested in hearing a womans point of view since you are the primary caregiver for your two children and have a career as the CEO of your own business.

Answering the purpose question—even in writing— was not an immediate solution for me. To go straight from my written life purpose to doing my next most important action seems like an impossible jump. I feel I need something in between. Plus, I get a lot of little to-dos each day. How do I fit those in when Im supposed to be focusing on my life purpose?

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Medium 9781576751602

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

Ken Blanchard 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 9781576754689

The Missing Link

Ken Blanchard 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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