Turbo Leadership Systems

Phone: (503) 625-1867 • Fax: (503) 625-2699 • email: admin@turbols.com
February 14, 2012 Issue 367 To our clients and friends

Empowering Employees

Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

As a leader, empowerment is job 1

Over the past 26 years Turbo Leadership Systems has worked with a variety of organizations - commercial, construction, manufacturing of all kinds, major retail, medical clinics, wholesale distributors, law firms, and many more. These organizations practice a variety of management styles. These varying management styles contribute greatly to the creation of their corporate culture and largely determine the innovation and productivity of individuals, departments, and the overall success of the enterprise.

It is increasingly apparent that a leadership approach that empowers employees improves performance, increases organizational effectiveness, customer service and profits. It is also true that halfhearted or isolated attempts to

  • Use of the personal pronoun "I"
  • Being lied to
  • Being kept out of the loop
  • The blame game
  • Condoning substandard performance
  • Criticism
  • Assigning tasks instead of desired results
  • Ignoring
  • Indecision
  • Inequity
  • Intimidation
  • "It won't work"
  • Keeping people in the dark
  • Lack of authority
  • Lack of communication / information
  • Lack of follow-up
  • Lack of recognition / acknowledgement
  • Lack of clearly defined standards
  • Lack of training / tools
  • Micromanaging
  • Non-achievable goals
  • Failing to act on ideas & suggestions
  • Failure to delegate
  • Not having necessary materials
  • Not included in decisions
  • Not listening to ideas
  • Overriding decisions
  • Power play
  • Ridicule
  • Sarcasm
  • Shoot the messenger
  • Silent treatment
  • Threatening

If your employees never make mistakes, you most likely do not have an empowered environment. If your employees never take risks or communicate reality, be advised, you may have a heavy top-down 50's and 60's "command and control" style, a "keep your head down" culture. And, if you do, you may be in serious trouble. The world is passing you by and what's worse, you don't even know it.

create empowerment can create stress and havoc if management doesn't totally buy into this philosophy.

My second book, Empowering Leadership, defines empowering leadership as "bringing out the best so results exceed high expectations" and provides the reader with fifteen leadership principles to guide their interactions with employees. What is empowerment? It is not a fad, although it has gained in popularity over the past several years. The journey to empowerment can be traveled with a variety of management approaches. The following list developed by our clients may help you better identify your strengths as well as opportunities to improve your effectiveness in creating an empowered team.

  • Allowable margin for errors
  • Asking for input / help
  • Available / visible
  • Being supportive
  • Challenge
  • Understood / clear expectations
  • Communication
  • Encouragement
  • Feedback
  • Focus on what, why and how
  • Giving needed training / tools
  • Giving authority with responsibility
  • Clearly communicated goals
  • "Great idea"
  • Included in decision process
  • Kept informed
  • Job fit - putting people in the right roles
  • Jointly setting goals & expectations
  • Job knowledge
  • Letting people make decisions
  • Meaningful delegation
  • Meaningful timely performance review
  • Acknowledgement
  • Recognized capability
  • Rewarding / recognizing job well done
  • Sufficient authority
  • Training
  • Treated respectfully
  • Trusted
  • Using & giving credit for their ideas
  • Listening
  • Communicate big picture corporation direction
  • A safe environment for employees to feed up bad news without fear
  • Encouraging creativity

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