164 Slices
Medium 9781605093482

Chapter Three A-B-C: The Universal Principle

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

A MY ARRIVED at work the following week eager to learn more, as the head trainer, Clint, would be speaking to the trainees again. She spent the morning learning from Jody about the very important matter of the whales’ diet.

As they went about distributing the buckets of fish, Amy said, “I imagine the water temperature is pretty much the same as the ocean would be.”

Jody smiled. “Fifty-two degrees,” she said. “When you get in there, even with a wetsuit, you know it!”

By the time noon rolled around, Amy was glad to sit down with the other trainees for an order-out lunch. As they ate, Clint came out.

“One thing we’re kind of nuts about here at the park,” Clint said, “is the importance of feedback. Most human beings don’t go out of their way to provide feedback. When was the last time someone said to you, ’Hey, I notice you’re doing something that way. Have you ever tried doing it this way?’ On most jobs, people are left pretty much alone when they do things right. The only time they hear about their performance is at some annual or semiannual review. Meanwhile, if they get any feedback at all it’s what we call a gotcha response—somebody caught them doing something wrong.

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Medium 9781576753606

19. How to Help Salespeople Sell more

James Steffen Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

RAY WASNT the only one who had success bringing the Aligned Thinking tools into the workplace. On a rainy morning in October, Chuck Bonner, vice president of worldwide sales, telephoned Carol for an impromptu meeting.

Walking to his office, she felt a touch of nervousness. What did he want from her? Chuck had a reputation for being a very tough boss. He had publicly opposed the company-wide learning program Carol had recently sponsored. She knew from experience that he could be difficult to deal with. If an idea did not contribute quickly to the bottom line, he would be against it. He did get results. Hesitantly, she knocked on his door.

Without so much as a greeting, Chuck got right to the point. I just received the results of a two-year study, he said. Our research shows that the more time our salespeople spend with our customers, the more they sell. Can you find a program that will get our people to organize their time so they spend maximum hours with the customers? This is especially important for our experienced salespeople. Theyre the ones who sell the most.

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Medium 9781576751602


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 9781626560604

1 A Joint Commitment

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


Ken’s Story

Think about an exciting story. Doesn’t it always have an interesting character who wants to make something important happen in their life, but first has to overcome conflict to accomplish the goal? Well, the interesting character in this story is me. What I want to accomplish that is important is to become fit again so I will feel better and live longer. To do that, I have to overcome conflict—my past patterns of behavior and how I dealt with the ups and downs of life.

As I tell you my story, I’m probably going to tell you more about the ups and downs of my life than you want to hear. Why? I’ve found that a lot of people think that because I’ve been fairly successful in my life, everything has gone along smoothly and all the breaks went my way. This was not always the case.

I was born in 1939 and grew up in New Rochelle, New York. My mom was a very nurturing person. Unfortunately, one of the ways she nurtured us best was by feeding us. If we were happy, we ate. If we were sad, we ate. If we were worried, we ate. Whatever happened, we ate. One of the ways Mom self-actualized was through the food she gave my father, my sister, and me. As I grew up, I used to fantasize about being locked in our local Jewish delicatessen overnight. I can smell a piece of cheese-cake a mile away.

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Medium 9781576751534

The Second Key: Create Autonomy through Boundaries

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

THE NEXT morning Michael was back bright and early. As he entered the Inventory Processing Area, a woman approached him and introduced herself as Janet Wo.

“I understand you’ve been hanging out with some of my colleagues—Sandy Fitzwilliam and Robert Borders,” said Janet. “This stuff about empowering people can be pretty confusing at first. Remembering how it was for me, I imagine your head is spinning.”

“Well, you’re right,” said Michael. “I was surprised to learn how sharing information works to establish trust and help people improve their work processes. But I can’t imagine that information alone can be enough. What comes next?”

“To answer that question, let me ask you to consider things from the viewpoint of management. In order for people to be empowered, do you think they need more structure or less?”

“Why, less structure, of course. To empower people, you want to free them up, not restrict them with rules.”

“OK,” Janet replied in a noncommittal way. “Now, think about where people are when you embark on the journey to the Land of Empowerment. They’ve heard about empowerment. Most of them probably want to be empowered. But what’s their total experience of what it means to be empowered? Do they really understand what it means to be allowed to use their experience and knowledge but at the same time to be held fully accountable for the results, whether good or bad?”

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