A couple of weeks ago I connected with someone after they had purchased my book Operational Empowerment. When I asked for feedback on the book, this person said he found it to be too vague, not providing him with the specific steps he could introduce in order to empower his employees.
This might shock you, but I was thrilled to hear this feedback!
You see, as an executive, empowerment isn’t about handing over the reins or throwing caution to the wind when it comes to sensitive or critical decisions, it’s about adding time to your calendar.
Whether you have ten employees or two thousand employees, they have questions that trickle upwards from the front lines in the form of management inquiries, suggestions, and ideas. These are all good things of course, but they do take time for you to consider.
This is where empowerment can be used to actually make time. You see, investing some time up front in building self-managed teams who collaborate and make decisions quickly and effectively means less “trickle-up” and more time available for you to focus on the things you should be focusing on – like growing the business, increasing profits, and sneaking in a round of golf now that the nice weather is here. Okay, that last bit was more of a personal interest.
This week I’d suggest you try something new. Every time (and I mean every time) someone brings you a question, idea, or suggestion, respond with “What do you think we should do about that?” Pause and politely listen to their response. If it sounds good, tell them to get moving and report back in an appropriate time. If it isn’t a good idea, tell them to take the idea away and come back with their recommendations.
[Tweet “This is how you empower employees: push decision- making and creativity down, freeing up your time.”]
So for my friend who provided feedback on my book, I’m thankful. The fact that he is beginning to think about the steps necessary to introducing empowerment into his company suggests to me that he is on the right track to adding time to his calendar.
PS: If you are interested in learning more about Empowerment, grab a copy of my latest book Operational Empowerment: Collaborate, Innovate and Engage to Beat the Competition over on Amazon. I promise to you it’ll be a decision you won’t regret!
© Shawn Casemore 2016. All rights reserved.