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What, Exactly, Is “Empowerment” At Work?


It’s unusual that a client does NOT tell us “I am interested in doing a better job of empowering my team”.

“Empowerment” falls right in with apple pie, mom, and the Super Bowl as things everyone seems to love, or at least feels as if they should love!

But a question hangs out there:

What, exactly, is “empowerment”?

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It’s not flowery or academic. It’s elemental and essential.

Towards a working definition:

We measure empowerment by how willing people are to offer us their maximum discretionary effort.

People aren’t doing the bare minimum, just enough to get by. They aren’t cutting corners or running the clock out.

They are giving of their best, giving what they don’t “have” to give.

You don’t do this unless you feel as if your efforts will pay off.

You don’t do this unless you feel that you matter and that you can make a difference.

You don’t do this unless you feel that you have power.

In other words, people feel empowered when they are motivated to give their all.

And when that happens, everyone wins – the team member, the team, the leader, the organization.

So, how do you empower your team?

That’s tomorrow…