Powerful Leadership: How to Unleash the Potential in Others and Simplify Your Own Life

Overview

The more you manage your employees, the more dependent they become-and the tougher your life becomes. It's the key paradox of management-and Powerful Leadership helps you cut right through it. This book distills seven powerful leadership principles into a natural, efficient, complete approach to unleashing your employees' potential - and your own. These principles simplify your life, reduce your stress, and transform management into an opportunity for unprecedented personal ...

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Overview

The more you manage your employees, the more dependent they become-and the tougher your life becomes. It's the key paradox of management-and Powerful Leadership helps you cut right through it. This book distills seven powerful leadership principles into a natural, efficient, complete approach to unleashing your employees' potential - and your own. These principles simplify your life, reduce your stress, and transform management into an opportunity for unprecedented personal growth.

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What People Are Saying

Stephen R. Covey
People are becoming increasingly convinced that 'command and control' management is obsolete. The almost universal problem is what should take its place and how to do it. To answer this, Stephan and Pace have beautifully integrated seven specific practices, each illustrated with numerous real-life examples-all of which represent a powerful new paradigm which respects and unleashes the enormous potential of people.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130668363
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

ERIC STEPHAN is Professor of Organizational Leadership and Strategy in the Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. He has researched, taught, and consulted on effective leadership techniques for over 20 years. His books include The Complete Speaker and The Perfect Leader. Dr. Stephan holds a Ph.D. from the University of Utah.

R. WAYNE PACE is Professor Emeritus of Organizational Leadership in the Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, and adjunct scholar in the Workplace Research, Learning, and Development (WoRLD) Institute of the School of Social and Workplace Development, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia. A specialist in human resource development, organizational communication, and individual and organizational change, his Prentice Hall books include Organizational Communication, Third Edition and Human Resource Development: The Field. He serves as corporate advisor to QuicKnowledge.com and Anchor Point Institute, leading firms in the training and development industry. Dr. Pace holds a Ph.D. from Purdue University and an MS from Brigham Young University.

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Read an Excerpt

Preface

Powerful Leadership embodies a new paradigm of leadership that respects and unleashes the potential of people. This is anything but a Pollyanna approach to a serious issue in organizations around the world. The development of more powerful leadership has been and continues to be one of the most concrete goals of society. In fact, having powerful leaders is a must for the survival of companies, institutions, governments, and even countries. Leadership development is a global issue.

This book identifies seven essential changes that elevate leadership and unleashes the latent potential of people in organizations. Leading people in new and invigorating ways must be the paramount objective in fulfilling the vision of the new economy.

We do not intend to survey all the literature on leadership or incorporate all of the current perspectives on leadership in this book. We have, however, included references and insights derived from the extant literature that supplements our perspective in a special section at the end of the book. Please study through those insights for additional ways of thinking about powerful leadership principles. The speeches in Appendix A are primarily examples of the thinking of contemporary individuals who have succeeded in leadership positions, and they deserve your careful reading.

We have avoided putting traditional reference symbols in the body of the book, such as names with dates in parentheses, but we have included publication data in the section on references. We have included some sayings and observations between paragraphs to provide further insights and to occasionally provide humorous interludes. In some cases the sayings are part of the folklore of the American culture and do not have specific authors.

This book was written to be read by individuals who serve in leadership positions at all levels in the organization, from chief executives to supervisors, as well as by leaders in the community who serve as administrators and board members of volunteer groups and organizations. Government leaders, business leaders, religious leaders, community leaders, educational leaders, and leaders in sports and entertainment will all find a new way to work with their cohorts if they follow the essentials described in this book.

Although the chapters of this book tend to follow in a logical sequence, the basic themes appear in every chapter. Themes like free people to take the lead, enable them to contribute more to the organization, help them grow and develop as well as enjoy their work, and keep yourself strong enough to withstand some of the frustrations and anxieties that come as you serve in leadership roles can be found in variations throughout the book.

The content overlaps in certain ways, resulting in positive repetition of the ideas right when you need the reinforcement. Though each chapter can be studied separately and will assist you in making some improvements in the way you lead, the full impact of these seven essential changes occurs when all of the topics are implemented simultaneously. Consider how difficult it is to encourage trust, risk taking, creativity, and innovation when you appear cool and aloof to workers. An awful clash occurs when you try to free people to take the lead but come down on them with criticism and fail to applaud their accomplishments. Occasional standing ovations thrill even the most staid workers and support them in making changes to improve the workplace or work process.

Leaders who free their cohorts to look at processes and systems more innovatively increase the effectiveness of their quality improvement programs. At the same time, working with fewer restrictions, cohorts implement quality improvement efforts more smoothly. When the structure of a work system is changed to introduce teams, cohorts will work more collaboratively and energetically.

Tensions in all parts of the world seek to undermine our confidence in leaders. Misdeeds and deliberate attacks on both our workplaces and our sensitivities shake the confidence we feel in anyoneÕs ability to lead. This should encourage all of us to examine the mindsets that we bring into leadership positions. We know that much can be done to develop, improve, advance, and make progress in the way in which we lead. The seven changes proposed in this book restore trust, unleash the power of workers, and uncomplicate the lives of leaders.

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Table of Contents

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

Proclamation on Leadership.

1. Houston, We Have a Problem!

Out-of-Sync Systems. Living in a Quandary. Managers Have Huge Blind Spots. An Old View Restated. Teams: the Panacea? A New View Restated. Yes, Houston, We Do Have a Problem. Houston, We Have a Solution.

2. THE FIRST ESSENTIAL CHANGE: FREE PEOPLE TO TAKE THE LEAD.

Let Them Take the Lead. Avoid Sheep Dog Management. Freedom First. I Hate This Place. I Love Working Here. What Comes Next?

3. THE SECOND ESSENTIAL CHANGE: PROMOTE CREATIVITY, INNOVATION, AND FUN AT WORK.

What Is Creativity? Does Creativity Lead to More Fun at Work? Helping Others Find Joy in Their Work. It's Okay to Laugh at Work! Jump Out of the Box; Pop a Cork. How Does a Leader Support Creativity, Innovation, and Fun? Everyone Has a Million-Dollar Idea. Three Alternatives for Identifying Innovations. Stimulating Creativity in the Workplace. Buying a Hotel in 15 Minutes! Rules 23 and 24. Toyota's Approach to Creativity. Two Magical Questions. Left Brain, Right Brain, Broccoli Brain. Test Your Creativity. Improving Overall Organizational Creativity. Fostering a Creative Climate. Using Creativity in Business Processes. Five Great Creativity Suggestions. Unlocking Your Own Creativity. One Final Word about Creative Thinking. A Look Ahead.

4. THE THIRD ESSENTIAL CHANGE: SWITCH FROM BOSS TO COHORT.

A Cohort. User-Friendly Managers. Treating Others as Cohorts Is Natural. The Customer Is Cohort. How to Manage Your Boss. I Don't Want to Be Your Parent Anymore. If You Push Hard, They Will Push Back. A Cohort Walks Around and Inquires. A Less Complex Form of Leading People. Cohort Leadership. How to Build Cohorts in Organizations. Cohort Relationships Are Adult to Adult. From Boss to Cohort. A Look Ahead.

5. HE FOURTH ESSENTIAL CHANGE: MASTER THE 4E'S OF INVOLVEMENT.

Why Master the 4E's of Involvement? The Meaning of Performance. E 1 = Envisioning. E 2 = Enabling. E 3 = Energizing. E 4 = Ensuring Results. Integrating the Four E's of Involvement. Why Inviting People to Be Involved Is Important. A Look Ahead.

6. THE FIFTH ESSENTIAL CHANGE: STOP CRITICIZING AND START APPLAUDING.

The Process of Redirection. From Redirecting to Applause in Four Easy Steps. Reality Therapy. Avoid Undermining Employees and Cohorts. Confrontational Anticipation Scares the Heck Out of People. Praising Is Good, but Applauding Is Better. What Is the Most Powerful Workplace Motivator? End the Everyday Put-down. A Look Ahead.

7. THE SIXTH ESSENTIAL CHANGE: TAKE THE HIGH ROAD.

What Are Best Policies? Where Do Ethical Standards and Guidelines Come From? Require Everyone to Violate the Principle. Why Have Explicit Ethical Principles? Manipulation Is Unethical. What Ethical Principles Should be Included in Your Code? Testing Your Decisions. Ethics and the Peaceful Mind. Does Ethical Behavior Pay? Take the Highest Road. An Ethical Bill of Rights. A Look Ahead.

8. THE SEVENTH ESSENTIAL CHANGE: STAY ON THE PEACEFUL PATH.

Getting Hit at Work. Can You Survive? Six Strategies for Staying on the Peaceful Path. Are You on the Peaceful Path? A Look Ahead.

9. WHERE ARE YOU AS A POWERFUL LEADER?

How Are You Doing as a Powerful Leader? How to Change. A Short Planning Exercise. What Do You Really Need to Change? Using Mental Practice and Idealization. Encouraging Change in Others. Fast Forward to the Basics.

A. POWERFUL LEADERS ON POWERFUL LEADERSHIP.

B. ESSENTIAL INSIGHTS AND SELECTED REFERENCES.

INDEX.

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First Chapter

Chapter 2
The First Essential Change: Free People to Take the Lead
The hightest and best form of efficiency is the spontaneous cooperation of a free people.
—Bernard Baruch

Time magazine devoted its December 7, 1998 issue to the most influential business geniuses of the century. "Managing to be best" was one short section touting the talents of the century's smartest bosses: Coke's Roberto Goizueta, General Electric's Jack Welch, Wal-Mart's Sam Wall, and Panasonic's Konosuke Matsushita. After characterizing their accomplishments, the author, Ram Charan, asked the question, "Do these four share common traits other than their leadership and superb business acumen?" Charan's answer was yes: "They were curious folks and hence lifelong learners. And they paid attention to people, realizing that the potential of any enterprise hinged on giving subordinates the maximum opportunity to succeed." Then, Charan made this prediction: "Even in the 21st century, these characteristics will still be required of great managers."

Most organizations are land-mined with various devices that restrain, confine, and restrict employees from contributing their best efforts at work. Poll-taker Gallup reported in March 2001 that 55 percent of employees have no enthusiasm for their work, while 19 percent are so negative about their work that they poison the workplace to the point where the companies might be better if such pessimistic employees called in sick. Workplaces are laden with constraints that repress, limit, regulate, restrict, bridle, check, curb, and put down employees.

Although this book tends to focus most directly on managerial practices, one element of the work system, three other elements—the guidelines or policies, the work itself, and the structure of the system—exercise powerful constraining influences on workers. In order to free your people, it will be necessary to make adjustments to each element in the total work system, not just in managerial practices. Remember that what you do as a leader should allow others to take the lead in making adjustments in the work system.

If you demand good work from your people, you must free them from any rule, procedure, policy, routine, approval, report, job description, structure, bureaucratic expectation, and workplace process that doesn't make sense and limits employees from growing, developing, and contributing their very best at work.

As you read about this first essential change, you will be absolutely shocked at how many restrictions and constraints have been placed upon employees. In too many organizations, we have not only bound and gagged our people and stifled efficiency, but we have also put employees to work for the boss and the bureaucracy rather than for the customer.

Let Them Take the Lead

Why free your people to let them take the lead? Because most, if not all, human beings have brains and a surprising amount of untapped energy. It is unnatural to squeeze a human being into a milk carton. Besides, if you demand effective work from your people, they have the right to demand the freedom and resources to do it well.

There is also a very practical reason why you should liberate your people from organizational constraints. If your people are free to think and act, to innovate and figure out better ways of doing things, your managerial burdens will become lighter. You will succeed or fail as a leader, not by what you do, but by what you encourage and allow others to do. The question that you must ask yourself each day is not what did I do as a leader today, but what did I do to allow others to take the lead today? Quite obvious, isn't it? The more you encourage others to take the lead, the more growth, development, and responsibility they have, and the more time you have to figure out long-term goals and, of course, to engage in some leisure-time activities. Ultimately, as you make each of the seven essential changes that we suggest, you will learn how to point the way and then get out of the way. This may be quite a turnaround from your present method of management; however, it is being done by other managers and leaders, and you can do it also. Now back to the first essential.

When you free up employees to take the lead, they discover new and innovative approaches to increasing profitability and achieving customer satisfaction. Banks have been deregulated. Airlines have been deregulated. Utilities have been deregulated. Start now to deregulate your workers by believing in thier great potential and eliminating restrictions.

Today's employees want not only the freedom to redesign their jobs, but also a say about the way things are done in the organization. You need to create an environment in which people can contribute, in which their ideas will be heard, and in which their opinions will count when decisions are being made.

Robert D. Hass, CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., has commented that at Levi Strauss 36,000 pairs of eyes and ears are tuned to the marketplace all the time. Haas wants to involve as many people as possible in making Levi Strauss a world-class company that shapes the future in its markets. Levi Strauss is trying to develop a management style that gives the workers the confidence to respond in real time to changes rather than wait until some spiral-bound study works its way up to the chairman's office.

We believe that if you kick down a few doors and knock over a few walls that et in the way of your people, you will find your workers much more fulfilled and energized by the work that they do. You may discover that your own people have the best ideas about product and service improvement and about creating an environment where work is more fun than drudgery. As an effective manager and leader, your best opportunity to free your people will come as you encourage them to take the LEAD!

Stop Strangling People

It wasn't long ago that a subtle change began to appear in the workforce. It wasn't noticeable until the 1980s when Yankelovich, the polling company, discovered emerging trends in business and industry. The surveys revealed that

the leaders who run our institutions do not really understand today's workforce: tens of millions of well-educated [workers], proud of their achievements, zealous of their freedoms, motivated by new values, with substantial control over their own production, and ready to raise their level of effort if given the proper encouragement.

The concept of allowing employees to think creatively and impelement solutions to problems that arise hasnot yet been widely realized. In a few paragraphs, we will outline a better way to manage the people who will be leading in the future. With this different paradigm for understanding the contemporary workforce, a more effective form of leadership can emerge.

Although the workforce landscape may be slightly obscure, revealing only glimpses of a figure here and there, it is striking enough to signal a shift in conditions necessary for exercising effective leadership. Follow along for a moment.

Consider these six characteristics of members of the contemporary workforce identified by Yankelovich: 1. well-educated

2. proud of achievements

3. zealous of freedoms

4. motivated by new values

5. wanting substantial control over production, and

6. ready to raise level of effort with proper encouragement

What implications do these characteristics have for organizational leadership? for leadership in general? Consider some basic assumptions that must be overturned when trying to lead that kind of workforce.

First, you must relinquish any thoughts of having a stranglehold over those who work with you. The current workforce is more highly educated than any previous workforce, and the importance of freedom in decision-making is understood.

Second, you must give up traditional techniques, such as rewards and punishments. The fact is that with proper encouragement, workers will extend their own efforts and take reponsibility for their own lives. So-called rewards should be used simply to confirm the good work done by employees.

Third, you must give up thinking that you have an advantage over employees in initiating actions, getting new ideas, and creating innovations in the workplace. Members of the workplace have the talents, abilities, and interests to do a better job of improving the workplace than you do.

Fourth, and last, you must never constrain, restrain, restrict, hinder, or hamper your cohorts in their pursuit of excellence, high quality, outstanding performance, and enjoyment in the workplace. The clarion call is fourfold: Let them work free, let them move ahead, let them aspire to great things, and let them want more and more and more of the abundance that comes from success.

Leaders in the new economy free their workers to aspire, to move, to want, and to achieve. In turn, the new leaders free themselves to be supportive, helpful, and sustaining. The new leaders walk side-by-side with those whom they work with in the organization. They facilitate, encourage, empower, capacitate, allow, permit, aid, assist, support, and benefit those with whom they work. They free those with whom they work from the mundane, the routine, and the anguish of organizational trauma. The new leaders are mindful of the needs of their colleagues and free them from organizational constraints.

As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt so cogently expressed,

We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want—everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear—anywhere in the world.

Freedom to express oneself in the workplace, freedom to feel uplifted and spiritual in the workplace, freedom to feel secure in the workplace, and freedom to feel confident and respected in the workplace are the standards that must guide the very thoughts and actions of the new leaders in the workplace. The new leaders have new paths to trod, new roads to travel, and new freeways to cruise, where they must relieve sorrow, tribulation, doubt, and turmoil. They must inspire, succor, share, inquire, enlist, and faciliate. These new concerns are no longer reserved for the weekend. These new concerns are no longer reserved for religious leaders. These new concerns are no longer relegated to social events. These new concerns are no loger part of the myth and warp of the weak. These new concerns are now the obligation and the opportunity of leaders of the new economy. They must move from run-of-the-mill managers to powerful leaders of people. The longer we wait to move to the next level, the greater the risk of declining morale, profits and efficiency.

Avoid Sheep Dog Management

Most organizations have been designed around the concept of command and control rather than around the concept of freedom. Too many managers still practice a form of tailkicking to get the work done. They improve their management styles by strengthening their legs with a little weight training and consulting a martial artist on the msot sensitive parts of the anatomy to kick, rather than by making the seven essential changes. They become better tailkickers, but they don't become more powerful leaders.

Bark-and-bite management is also out, unless you are trying to be a sheep dog.
—Anonymous

Excessive numbers of managers are trying to think, plan, and organize without employee imput; then they try to tell the workers what to do to change and improve. This directive style of management is out, or at least it should be. It simply doesn't work well. Today's workers are better educated than in the past, and more able to contribute their own thinking to the job. Some jobs have become so complex that the workers acutally know how to do the work better than the manager does.

Rene C. McPherson, famous for his leadership style at Dana Corporation, put his faith in his employees and argued that in a 25-squre-foot manufacturing setting, nobody knows more about how to operate a machine, keep it running, maximize its output, and optimize the flow of materials than do the machine operator and the maintenance people responsible for it. Nobody.

The competitive nature of the marketplace requires quick change in the way we do work, produce products, deliver services, and respond to the needs of customers. The people who do the work need to be able to make the decisions and implement changes so that everything is done with maximum directness and efficiency. Managers can't decide everything anymore, and no one has time to wait for a feasibility study. We are talking about real-time actions and decisions. No manager can hope to succeed in today's workplace trying to micromanage the work life of their reports. Powerful leaders don't make the employees' decisions. Effective leaders let the employees tell them the decisions that they have made. If the leader suspects a problem with the decision, the leader simply asks the employee how the decision was made. This gives the leader an opportunity to see if anything has been omitted from the employee's decision-making process. If the leader has some information that needs to be conveyed to the employee, the leader shares the information and asks if the employee wants to modify the decision. Notice again that the best leader doesn't make employee decisions but allows and encourages the employee to come up with solutions. This is another way to encourage employees to take the lead.

The Work System is a Major Constraint!

When we talk about a work system, we're referring to key elements in the organization that surround the workers. Nearly every constraint on workers may be associated with some feature of the system in which they work.

In our depiction of the work system, you may have noticed that we placed everything in the form of a cloverleaf. This is what we call an organic model. The four leaves touch each other and have a common stem system, representing a work system that is alive, can be made to grow healthy, and has flexibility. Removing constraints in one part of the work system usually contributes to the health of other parts of the system. For example, when you eliminate an unnecessary policy, it may facilitate changing the way the employee is allowed to do the work. Changing structure frequently opens up the opportunity to get rid of a restrictive policy and increase the efficiency of work processes.

As you pursue the elimination of constraints in your owrk system, do not overlook restrictions placed on contacts among people. It is important that workers be able to make regular contact with others when they need to. Some ways of making contact may be stipulated by organization policies. In fact, the old "open-door" policy was an effort to allow employees to get around some of the specified reporting relationships by making contact with the boss just by walking into his or her office. You may wnat to revisit each element of the work system to discover how your workers are being constrained from contacting coworkers and others with whom they would like to associate.

In order to help you recognize constraining influences that affect the worker, we shall briefly describe three critical elements of the work system: the guidelines of the organization, the work itself, and the structure of the organizaiton.

Let's talk about the guidelines first. The guidelines of the organization consist of all the policies, rules, regulations, mission statements, and other statements that control the thinking, actions, and decision of organization members. Decisions are based on "policies," another term for guidelines, and rules and regulations, whether expressly stated or just implied. Organizational guidelines create some of the worst constraints, restrictions, checks, curbs, and repressive actions that occur in work systems. Organiztions that operate with a book full of rules and reulations are often called bureaucracies, which has taken on a perjorative and negative connotation because of the myriad of abuses when rules are adhered to rigidly. Although organizations need some guidelines to function a little bit consistently, the bulk of the guidelines are generally restrictive and unnecessary.

Examie with us an organization taht you are probably familiar with and which seems to function in a loosely coupled state or with few tight controls, regulations, and rules—that is, until you look closely at how it actually carries out its business. We call it a college or university. The reality is that students, faculty, and support staff work within a heavy framework of rules, regulations, policies, and guidelines. For example, what determines who gets into a university? What determines which students get into which academic majors? What determines which courses and activities students must complete in order to graduate? Almost everything about the lives of students is governed by a policy or rule. Guidelines for entrance into a university, rules for ocurses required to graduate, and even regulations such as how to stand in line at commencement control and determine just about everything that happens to a student.

The lives of faculty members are likewise controlled and directed by policies, rules, and regulations. For example, policies limit when and how faculty members may give final exams, how grades may be assessed, and when grades are to be submitted. There are rules about office hours, treatment of students, and attendance at faculty meetings. Faculty members are governed by retention, promotion, and dismissal policies, as well as by contemporary harassment and discrimination policies.

In the past, employers were able to make any regulations, rules, or policies that they felt were desirable, but now there are lists of practices that are prohibited as a result of federal and state statutes. This results in adjustments to policies and practices and often requires employers to add more rules and regulations.

In formulating guidelines, companies should avoid three problems: (1) creating excessive or unnecessary rules and regulations that restrict what employees can do and that discourage creativity and innovation—too many restrictions provoke resentment among employees; (2) having too few rules, leaving employees uncertain about what constitutes acceptable workplace conduct; and (3) failing to clearly explain rules and policies, encouraging employees to bypass them because they do not seem necessary.

Powerful leaders in the new economy examine the organization's policies, rules, and regulations to make certain that they are not excessive, that they adequately describe acceptable workplace conduct, and that all of them are clearly explained in terms of what they are designed to achieve. The practice should be to cut out all policies, regulations, and other guidelines that unnecessarily restrict employees.

The most important principle to extract from this discussion is that it is the perception of the value of the rule that affects the behavior of employees. For example, a rule prohibiting employee use of a telephone may be viewed as unnecessarily inhibiting, but a rule about when employees are to come to wrk may be considered a positive act.

One way to identify unnecessary rules and regulations is to encourage employees to challenge any rule they feel is silly or unnecessary and then review the rule to see if it can be modified or eliminated. I remember when I was in the army being assigned to the standard operating procedures (SOP) office. My main task was to open the on-post mail and lay out all of the changes in the standard operating procedures for the day. I then went to an 18-foot shelf, located the appropriate binder, and replaced the description of the old procedure with the statement of the new procedure. We were comforted by the fact that, with so many rules and regulations, no one would be able to determine whether or not a person was doing the job correctly. The outlandish detail represented by the shelves and shelves of standard operating procedures was overwhelming.

Work with your employees to eliminate any rule, procedure, policy, or practice that prohibits the best efforts of anyone. For starters, try these powerful suggestions:

1. Become freedom fighters. Simply declare war on bureaucratic red tape. Remember, you are in this war together. You are fighting with your workers side by side. You have a common enemy, and there is no question that you are going to win.

2. Eliminate the invisible restraint called "they." Encourage everyone to identify who or what is "they." When someone even thinks or speaks about "they won't allow it," identify and destroy the "they" and find out who or what the real restraint is.

3. Use various forms of information technology to share ideas and exchange information. This is the quickest way to work around the bureaucracy and find better ways to do things. Even forming ad hoc groups at lunch to discuss creative ideas to enhance one's work will provide an opportunity to think outside the red tape. Then, perhaps, the new idea will make the restrictive policy pale in light of better ways to perform without the policy.

4. Focus on the customer and the customer's needs, not the appeasement of the people who enforce the rules and policies.

5. Finally, meet together regularly just for the purpose of identifying and eliminating unnecessary policies and practices that seem to be getting in the way of freedom in the workplace.

The work itself, another important element in the work ssystem, consists of the ways in which work is done, ought to be done, and could be done, as well as the tools and methods by which work is accomplished. Machines, assembly lines, and traditions tend to impose restrictions on activities of the workers and make them feel like prisoners of work. The location of equipment, the manner in which materials are acquired and processed, and the procedures used in completing work are all sources of serious constraints on workers.

When you encourage employees to study, analyze, and review their work to find ways to be more efficient and effective, you are encouraging them to identify and eliminate constraints. When you free employees to make changes in the way they do their work, you may find it necessary to change some of the guidelines that have been restricting them from making improvements in the work itself.

One way to make changes in the work itself is to help employees redesign the work. In the sales office of a large computer software company, for example, morale was low, the work was boring and routine, and the employees were on the verge of revolt. The work was task-oriented and fragmented. The flow of paperwork seemed random, with files floating from desk to desk and forms being checked and rechecked. Forms were never processed faster than the slowest worker could complete them because each individual performed only part of the process. Decisions that seemed complicated were sent to senior staff who failed to provide feedback on what they decided should be done.

An analysis of the workflow resulted in a reorganization of the work process. Each sales clerk was assigned a group of clients organized by geographical area. The sales clerk was able to take personal responsibility for accounts in that area. Notices were sent to clients, identifying the clerk directly responsible for their account. Clerks then established personal repationships with contacts in client organizations, signed their own letters, and spoke directly with their contacts. The result was a shift in perspective, from an impersonal clerk to that of an account manager. Errors were associated with specific individuals who were responsible for checking their own work. The account manager now followed up on his set of clients. The reorganization of work was around geographical areas with accounts managed by specific individuals. Employees were more motivated and found that they could more easily get helpful feedback about how they were doing, and the company increased its sales. The employees' feelings changed. They didn't work for the company any more. They were the company!

Recently we consulted with a large company in the hospitality industry. Among other things, we helped employees identify various methods of doing their work better and at the same time having a little more fun. We gave our final report in a large conference room where the general manager had gathered all the department managers. As part of our presentation of findings, we reported that in the "sweat shop area" of their organization, where part-time and full-time minority members were cleaning dishes, utensils, and pots and pans, the employees had made some dynamic suggestions about how to redesign the work to be less repetitious and faster. Also, these same employees made some excellent suggestions about how to improve the general working conditions in their area.

We were absolutely startled when the department manager over that area of the business said rather vehemently, "Are you telling me that I'm supposed to ask those part-time blankety-blank employees how they should be doing their work?" With probably more than normal volume, we replied, "That's exactly what we mean." Had this manager been a little more teachable, we would not have said anything else. However, as he continued to fuss and grumble, we revealed another aspect of our research, which showed that he was the least liked of all the managers in the room. You would have enjoyed the laughing and joking from the other managers who had received higher ratings from their employees. The point is that there seems to be a direct correlation between listening to your employees and helping them incorporate their ideas into the way that they do their work and their positive perceptions of you as a leader.

Leaders in this new and changing economy should examine work processes, enlist the help of employees, and assist employees in redesigning their jobs so that employees can be more productive while their jobs are made more interesting.

The organizational structure, the last element that we need to review, consists primarily of reporting relationships and contacts among members of the organization. Structure is often portrayed in the form of an organization chart, but the real structure of an organization consists of who actually reports to whom, with whom you are obligated to have meetings, and whom you are prohibited from contacting. Every organization structure tends to restrict or constrain who may contact whom.

A restricted set of contacts makes employees feel that they are living in a prison; it is usually a function of too many restrictions on whom they may contact and how they may make contacts.

Supervisors and managers introduce restrictions on employee contacts out of fear that they will lose control of their people. Workers who are allowed, or even possibly encouraged, to visit with employees in another part of the company may find out what others are doing and make a fuss when they get back. Anxiety over what employees might think and do if they are turned loose to talk with other employees can impel managers to promote a form of isolationism that thwarts the best intentions of serious and thoughtful employees.

Managers often derive a feeling of power from adminstering rewards, allocating resources, making decisions, and telling their employees how best to do their work. Controlling and exercising power in this manner is the opposite of what an effective manager should be doing. Employees should talk to other employees and supervisors about problems that they have solved and methods by which they obtained resources to carry out a project. They should also discover what kinds of rewards and benefits others have received as a result of their efforts. This kind of information empowers and enables employees to function more efficiently in their own area of work. Resources and significant rewards are often scarce in organizations. This form of freeing people enables them to discover ways and means for improving their work and being recognized that have eluded the manager.

A high-tech organiztion with which we worked as consultants enforced forms of contact so that employees were restricted from leaving their workspaces at any time except for emergencies. The employees resented their inability to see what other employees were doing in their work. They were openly hostile to other employees. The question was raised concerning what the consequences could be if emplyees were able to mingle and observe the work of others. At worst, there might be some lost time and a temporary slowdown in production. At best, employees would understand total plant operations, create friendships among individuals in other parts of the plant, and discover ways of doing their work that might be an important improvement.

Over the years, practices have been introduced to remove some restrictions from the workplace and create a structure that is designed to foster more contacts. For example, a traditional open-door policy illustrates the value of lifting contact restrictions. An open-door policy should say to employees that they are free to discuss any work-related problems with their immediate supervisors. If a matter is not resolved or if sensitive circumstances prevent discussing the problem with the immediate supervisor, employees may go to the supervisor's manager or to the manager of human resources. Nevertheless, the employee should not be penalized for using this open-door practice.

Such a policy specifies the structure in which employees are to function: The first contact is with the immediate supervisor, the second contact is with the supervisor's manager, and the third contact is with the human resources manager. The matter would probably stop there, unless the HR manager took it to another level. Employees would not likely make contact with someone more than two or three levels above their position in an organization. The open-door policy is an interesting first step, but far too restrictive. Managers must overcome their own personal fears about letting employees freely inquire of anyone in the organization about making work more efficient and more rewarding.

By the way, in the hospitality industry company that we examined, the plant maintenance peole who were keeping every mechanical and electrical system functioning properly reported to the housekeeping managers, who were trying to give orders and directions to the maintenance people. These managers knew nothing about plant maintenance or preventing problems, or even redesigning antiquated heating and cooling systems. Everyone was frustrated with everyone else. The solution was simple: Redesign the work structure. That is, change the reporting relationships. In this case, the plant engineers wanted to report directly to the assistant manager of the hotel, who cold understand reasons for updating some physical facility equipment and systems, and who could not only give permission but could obtain the resources to make the changes. Needless to say, the housekeeping managers were more than happy to get rid of issues aobut which they knew practically nothing. A simple structural change was made.

The restructuring of an organization by a powerful leader is illustrated by the work of Bob Martin, vice president of AT&T phone centers. When he took over, five levels of managerial staff existed between the sales associates and the vice president, with 5 regional managers and 10 area managers. Another 300 people provided support services to the stores, and the corporate staff consisted of 150 additional people.

Four years later, all regional vice presidents and staff had been eliminated, and the area managers had been reduced to 5, with only 30 people in staff-support positions. The total overall headcount was reduced 50 percent. The cost for staff functions was reduced from $1,000 per month to $400 by the second year. In addition to their regular work, middle managers took on the work of staff people. The division initiated a yearly meeting to talk about staff issues. The structure was flattened, and the division was able to respond more quickly to market demands and was more flexible in its work. The division had gone from being phased out in 6 months to contributing to the profits of the business. Only leaders who recognize the waste contained in weak work structures are able to achieve these kinds of goals.

Creating a Topless Paradigm

The big item on the agenda of the powerful people leader, and the best manager, is to help others succeed and grow. A new set of guidelines is required. A new paradigm is required. A new mindset must be acquired. The new leader in the new economy must lead with charity in order to energize with vigor. Faith, hope, and charity appeal to our inner selves and can make the world of work a better place. Charity that embodies goodwill, humanity, compassion, benevolence, tolerance, and graciousness and that rejects ill-will, hatred, selfishness, and malice is the charity with which the powerful leader is endowed.

Lilia Cortina and her co-author reported at the American Psychological Society meeting in Toronto, during the summer of 2001, that rudeness is poisoning the US workplace. Seventy-one percent of workers surveyed said they'd experienced put-downs or condescinding and outright rude behavior on the job. Researchers report that such disrespect causes employee anxiety and lower productivity. The worst off were lower level employees who were abused by powerful bosses. The message is clear: If workers are treated shabbily and bosses use the stick to get short-term organizational performance increases, workers will try ot retaliate by undermining the organization and the boss. Morale goes down just about as fast as productivity.

Managers must move their styles to the next level, to a higher level, to a more effective level, to a level of less effort and greater results, to a level that produces increased quality, productivity, enjoyment, and profits. They need to learn from the past and move forward.

It is possible for you to transcend run-of-the-mill management and become a more powerful and effective leader only if you have a renewed commitment to human beings, not as resources to be used in organizations, but as partners in the process of building organization effectiveness. You must accept the inevitable conclusion that people who work in organizations are capable. Thus, your goal must be to help them get the best out of themselves.

Everyone is a Genius at Something

Human beings are amazing organisms. As symbolic beings, they are both creatures of and creators of the culture in which they live. They are capable of remembering, imagining, hoping, and choosing. They are vulnerable to both their own choices and the choices made by others. They define both themselves and the world in which they live. Human beings are not constrained in their development, as are plants and animals; their instincts and drives do not limit them. They do not live in the immediate present alone, responding only to the forces and influences that impinge on them now. Every person has unique gifts, talents, and skills. Each person can think of things in unique ways, and can in fact do some things better than others.

Human beings increase their capabilities as their choices or options are increased. At the same time, increasing people's options increases their capabilities. Thus, it is imperative that you capture the compelling principle that the enhancement of people's capabilities frees them to achieve more. Powerful leaders have the quintessential task of increasing workers' options, which naturally enhances their capabilities and allows them freedom to achieve more.

When you increase the capability of those with whom you work to achieve more significant and meaningful goals, you provide those same people with new access to freedom. The new workforce, the workforce of which the new leaders are part, cherishes freedom. As human beings, access to greater freedom is critical. As W. Somerset Maugham, English novelist and playwright, so gloriously declared, "If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too."

Lawrence A. Bossidy, Allied Signal's chairman and CEO, voiced his feelings that "this is America, after all. We're a freedom-loving people, a democratic and entrepreneurial people. Americans don't like to be managed or treated like children. They want to be asked for their ideas and are willing to take accountability for their decisions."

Such is the challenge of effective leaders. Above all, they must develop the capabilities of their people and enhance their freedom. We join with Alfred Austin, English poet laureate, in asserting that

So long as Faith with Freedom reigns,
And loyal Hope survives,
And gracious Charity remains
To leaven lowly lives;
While there is one untrodden tract
For intellect or will,
And men are free to think and act,
Life is worth living still.

No more worthwhile path can be trod than to be instrumental in making people free to think and act and lead. This is no abstract and worthless platitude. This is a call to action. This is what will ultimately reenergize and possibly save someone else's work life and make your own life worth living. Be a leader who uses gracious charity to leaven lowly lives.

The Road to Freedom is Filled with Potholes

Through small steps, little acts, and simple movements, workers lose their freedom in the workplace. As James Madison so perceptively enjoined in a speech during the Virginia Convention, "I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." Small decisions by run-of-the-mill managers have crippled so many in the workforce that Scott and Hart have reported that most employees find "routines and monotonies that are corrosive of life...within a week, [they] find the job dull, routine, and personally unrewarding."

Corrosive workplaces are places of lost freedom. Monotonous workplaces are places of lost freedom. Organizations cannot survive management styles that restrict, corrode, and destroy the freedom to think and act.

In late 1993, the Monthly Labor Review reported that there were about 15 million managers in the United States and probably more than 100 million managers worldwide. No small numbers, my friend. The question is, what are they all doing? And what do employees think about what their managers are doing?

In our research efforts to find out what employees thought of their managers, the most interesting and not uncommon response from employees was "I think my manager is brain dead!" When employees were asked why they thought their managers were such dummies, the most frequent comment was "My manager doesn't listen to what I say and doesn't encourage me to try out new ideas." What we are finding is that most managers who have been on the job for a few years are having a difficult time giving up control and converting their styles from that of a boss to that of a leader. Our prediction is that those managers who fail to change will ultimately become discouraged, be less effective, and finally lose their jobs.

While researching low morale of employees in several major companies, we asked a manager in the aerospace space division of one of America's Fortune 500 companies how things were going. We knew that this company had spent the last few years implementing a Total Quality Management program and had, in fact, spent tens of thousands of dollars making sure that it was done right. After a quiet pause, he answered in a thoughtful but rather direct way, "Same old crap." This manager continued, "We sit in groups and hold meetings and once in a while come up with some pretty good suggestions for making things better. But nobody listens. In fact, a few weeks ago, we almost killed a couple guys trying to do something the company way."

People are devastated when they spend time and energy trying to figure out a safer, simpler, more cost-effective way to do something and their ideas are not allowed to breathe the fresh air of life. Workers, however, become quite excited about following powerful leaders, not managers, because leaders have a wonderful way of making their people feel needed and valued. Moving your management style to the highest level means that you must become quick to acknowledge the talents, experience, and uniqueness that eveyrone brings to the workplace. As a manager, you must work hard to ensure that your workers make fulfilling and significant contributions at their place of work; you must free up your people to allow them to contribute and take the lead.

If your workers still see you as a classic, run-of-the-mill, talking but not listening manager, then you may be the major obstacle blocking their freedom to think and act, to create, and to enjoy their work. One acid test of whether you are a leader is to look around and see if you have any followers.

Take a Deep Swig for a Violent Jolt

Workplaces led by powerful people leaders are invigorating, energizing, animating, inspiring, and elevating. Workplaces led by powerful leaders excel at every level in the organization in quality, productivity, enjoyment, and profit.

We concur with Walt Whitman's rhetorical question from Leaves of Grass: "What do you suppose will satisfy the soul, except to walk free and own no superior?" Indulge us as we present a bit of humor about freedom at work, couched in American commentator Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb's description of Corn Licker. Paraphrasing, we say that the freedom to take the lead is like Corn Licker,

When you absorb a deep swig of it, you have all the sensations of having swallowed a lighted kerosene lamp. A sudden, violent jolt of it has been known to stop a person's watch and snap his suspenders.

Recently, a special task force of about 10 people from a western steel company asked for an appointment to discuss some concerns within their organization. We met with them in a conference room where each person took a chair around a rather large table. For the next 45 minutes, members expressed their frustration with how each division of the organization had declined in profits, efficiency, and morale. It became quite eveident that top management, middle management, and the employees themsleves were quite discouraged with what was happening in the company and feared that they might have to shut down the company and find employment elsewhere.

When members of the steel company task force had pretty well vented their feelings, there was a long pause. No one seemed sure that they had defined the problem well or knew how to begin solving the problem.

Knowing that people can't contribute to the achievement of organizational goals unless they know what they are, we asked the group to articulate the company's goals and any strategy it had for achieving the goals. Not one person in the room could respond to the question. It seemed apparent that they had little direction.

One thing that managers do is give a group or organization some initial direction. Managers "prime the pump." They get things started by helping people understand what they are supposed to do. Once things get underway, managers need to make sure that the forward motion is sustained by removing every possible organizational constraint.

The Two-Million-Dollar Listener

We have a young friend with a high school education who owns two very expensive cars and lives in a two-million-dollar home. When we asked him what he did to earn his millions of dollars, he related this informative story:

I call myself a consultant. Generally, I can promise to increase business volume and/or profits by 10 to 30 percent for anyone who will let me interview a few people in the company. What I have found out is that the person who works on the job, eight to ten hours per day, day in and day out, week after week, month after month, not only knows the problems but also knows the solutions to the problems.

"Most managers," he continued, "don't realize the great value and potential of the worker and, consequently, discover neither the problems nor their solutions."

We asked, "So what do you do?"

The answer was, "I ask the employees the right questions and then listen to their answers. Then I take their answers back to management and show how they will save thousands of dollars over a year's time if they just implement the workers' ideas. And, of course, I suggest that they recognize and share some of the profitability of the workers' ideas with the workers."

"Sounds like a win-win idea," we said, "but could't the managers or the bosses do this themselves?"

The self-made consultant's answer was classic: "They could, but they don't."

We visited a major computer software company and asked about 700 employees to share their perceptions of what it was like to work for this company. By the way, this particular company believed that they were following Steve Jobs and the Apple culture, where people were encouraged to be creative, focus their efforts on being customer-friendly, and remove tons of bureaucratic red tape. The results were astonishing. The employees were not about to leave the company because of the very high pay, but they felt totally restricted in contributing their insights to help the organization accomplish its projected goals. The demographic section of our research project with this company showed that a substantial number of the employees in the surveyed division were college graduates. When interviewed personally and asked about their feelings concerning thier work, the most common reply was, "It's just lip service. We are asked to contribute our ideas, but nothing significant comes out of it. It's almost as if we don't exist."

We presented our findings to the appropriate manager with the warning that people were of a mind to revolt because they were unable to use their insights and talents; we predicted a wave of low morale and decreased efficiency. Nothing much changed in this organization with the exception that more and more decisions were made by top managers and passed on to lower levels of management and employees as "the best way to go." Many bright employees were laid off. Profits continued to decline. Soon the company was sold. Without oversimplifying, poor leadership contributed heavily to the fall of a once mighty company. The irony is that quite a number of highly educated and very able employees and first-level supervisors tried to speak out, but they were left mumbling to themselves in the company hallways.

Freedom First

Creating a generation of employees who take the lead is an exhilarating challenge. It is the first thing that must be done to release the full power of an organization. Freedom isn't something superficial. Freedom isn't a triviality. Freedom isn't to be taken lightly. Freedom must be given and taken without reservation and without compunction. Freedom in the workplace has a critical meaning.

Freedom in the workplace means being able to decide how the work is to be done. Freedom in the workplace means being able to make changes in the way in which work is done to make it more effective. Freedom in the workplace means being able to talk back to the supervisor or manager without fear of reprisal. As a manager, you must allow workers to talk back. Workers must be able to say what they think and feel, in a kind and gentle way of course, and without rancor on their part.

Fredom in the workplace carries with it the responsibility to care, to be concerned that the work gets done, and that the workplace is safe and attractive. Freedom carries with it the challenge to perform at your best level, to excel at what you do. Freedom in the workplace carries with it the obligation to be truthful and honest. When you are free, you are obligated to do all you can to advance the position of the company in which you are working.

Freedom in the workplace, however, offers every employee the opportunity to be greater, to aspire to greater things, to care and to want and to achieve beyond what they had anticipated before joining the company. Freedom is exhilarating, stimulating, invigorating, and enlivening. Life is fun when you are free. Life is sad and tragic when you are bound and gagged. Life is enjoyable when you are free. Life is depressing and disgusting when you are fettered and shackled. This realization of the fundamental nature of freedom in the workplace as the most critical underlying perception to active workplaces and productive employees has eluded most managers.

Most managers just do not realize that freedom in the workplace may be the most important element in a global environment where immediacy—spontaneous decision-making, direct action, and continuous analysis—must be contended with every moment of the working day. The freedom to think and act on behalf of the organization, the freedom to think and act on behalf of the customers and clients of the company, the freedom to think and act on behalf of the customers and clients of the company, the freedom to think and act on behalf of the best interests of all employees in the organization, and the freedom to think and act on behalf of future generations of employees is a solemn responsibility and obligation. Nothing can be more important than taking every step possible to free employees to live and work at this level. This must be the first and primary concern of every leader.

I Hate This Place

We had an opportunity to be involved in some analysis and proposals for freeing employees in a company that was involved in them anufacture of areospace equipment. Things had not been going too well, and one afternoon the plant manager was replaced by an experienced manager from another part of the country.

The new manager was knowledgeable about applications of the theory and practice of the social sciences in industry. In fact, he could quote most of the significant social studies in industry and explain their consequences and effects. He spoke positively about the importance of the people in the organization and in industry in general. Confidentially, we were advised that he was new to the area, and we might find that his actual management practices might be different from his expressed philosophy.

After a period of analysis and several visits to the plant, we were ready to offer some suggestions for ways to stablize employee relations and put the plant back on target for achieving some of its stated technical goals, like reduction in the production and delivery of airplane parts. We met with members of top management, who deferred to the plant manager more frequently than usual, and began to introduce some of our ideas. The first suggestion was met with intense questioning about its relevance and possible difficulty of implementation. Although we had about 10 general suggestions, by the time we got to the third idea, we had the distinct impression that freeing employees was of very low priority. In a private meeting off the premises, a member of the management team expressed a deep apology for the manner in which our ideas had been received and indicated that an effort would be made to implement some of them in spite of the plant manager. Things did not progress as the new plant manager had expected. In this case, as with many others, freeing the employees would have been much more important to accomplishing the technical goals than new equipment or new work procedures.

I Love Working Here

Let's take a minute and talk aobut some of the things that can happen when you free up your employees. We were working with a healthcare organization that had a state contract for services comprising over 60 percent of its business. One afternoon, the state decided to change its way of doing business and canceled the contract. The CEO was devastated. With 90 employees, that meant laying off almost 50 of them. Maybe he wasn't a tough businessman because when he returned to his office, a tear trickled down his cheek as he contemplated what he had to do.

The next day, he called a meeting of all employees and presented the awful news to him. As he explained the serious loss of business, he sensed some rumbling among the group assembled. Eventually, one of the more outspoken employees asked for the floor and offered a plan. She said, "If you'll turn this problem over ot us and not discharge any employees, we'll share the income loss and build the business so that it is better than it was when we had the contract." As the CEO, he was not certain what he should do, but given the serious state of affairs, he agreed to the proposition.

Immediately, employees organized into teams to consider ways in which business could be increased. Every employee was intently involved in discussions. Employees talked to their spouses and friends, reviewed the nature of the services they were providing, and sought out new contacts. Within a few short weeks, although the weeks seemed a bit longer to the CEO, business began to improve. In a couple of months, the company was breaking even. At the end of 6 months, the business had increased by one-third over what it had sustained with the state contract.

Incidentally, company headquarters were located in a rented building that was not particularly appealing. One of the committes created by employees concerned the maintenance of property. Although the CEO had tried for many months to get the owner of the property to landscape and improve the looks of the building, nothing had been achieved. However, the employees met with the owner of the property and explained their role in the revitalization of the business. The property owner was so surprised that he agreed to immediately landscape the area and paint parts of the building. The general appearance of the corporate headquarters was significantly enhanced through employee meetins with the property owner.

At the latest count, employees numbered over 160, and business was prospering better than it had at any time under the management of the CEO. At our last meeting, the CEO said, "Now, I just ask our associates what they think we should be doing. I concur with their suggestions and leave the office to visit other units while they get on with the business. We're having a great time. I just love working here."

Regardless of what you may have thought in the past of the idea of freeing up your employees, today you must reconsider. Today is, as a poster down the hall announces, the first day of the rest of your life. You don't have time to procrastinate on this issue. The decision to grant clemency to the employees with whom you work and give them more freedom, regardless of what they currently have, may be the most important decision you have ever made, and it may be the most important landmark of your career. Give it a try. Even though it might go down a little hard at first, you and your employees will enjoy the energizing "jolt" that will occur. Even though you may truly snap a suspender in the process, you'll like it.

What Comes Next?

In this chapter we described the first essential change that you need to make to take your management style to a level that will unleash the power of your organization. Freeing your people from organizational constraints that don't make sense inthe first place will start to turn your organization from a jail into a house of freedom and new opportunity. We referred to the perception that people have of their manager as a boss who really doesn't value their worth to the organization. Freeing your people will change that perception in the quickest way possible.

Now we turn to another workplace challenge: How can you get people to be more innovative and creative at work? We all know there are easier, simpler, faster, and more cost-effective ways to do things. How can we take the tedium out of our places of employment and have a little more fun? As we achieve the "spontaneous cooperation of a free people," is there a way to encourage spontaneous creativity and enjoyment at work?

Creativity and innovation are freeing for workers. Paraphrasing quality guru Phillip Crosby, creativity is "an honest-to-goodness profit maker." Too many good ideas are not finding fertile work environments in which to grow. The next chapter is about making creativity and innovation certain and the steps that should be taken by managers to make it happen.

Read More Show Less

Preface

Preface

Powerful Leadership embodies a new paradigm of leadership that respects and unleashes the potential of people. This is anything but a Pollyanna approach to a serious issue in organizations around the world. The development of more powerful leadership has been and continues to be one of the most concrete goals of society. In fact, having powerful leaders is a must for the survival of companies, institutions, governments, and even countries. Leadership development is a global issue.

This book identifies seven essential changes that elevate leadership and unleashes the latent potential of people in organizations. Leading people in new and invigorating ways must be the paramount objective in fulfilling the vision of the new economy.

We do not intend to survey all the literature on leadership or incorporate all of the current perspectives on leadership in this book. We have, however, included references and insights derived from the extant literature that supplements our perspective in a special section at the end of the book. Please study through those insights for additional ways of thinking about powerful leadership principles. The speeches in Appendix A are primarily examples of the thinking of contemporary individuals who have succeeded in leadership positions, and they deserve your careful reading.

We have avoided putting traditional reference symbols in the body of the book, such as names with dates in parentheses, but we have included publication data in the section on references. We have included some sayings and observations between paragraphs to provide further insights and to occasionally provide humorous interludes. In some cases the sayings are part of the folklore of the American culture and do not have specific authors.

This book was written to be read by individuals who serve in leadership positions at all levels in the organization, from chief executives to supervisors, as well as by leaders in the community who serve as administrators and board members of volunteer groups and organizations. Government leaders, business leaders, religious leaders, community leaders, educational leaders, and leaders in sports and entertainment will all find a new way to work with their cohorts if they follow the essentials described in this book.

Although the chapters of this book tend to follow in a logical sequence, the basic themes appear in every chapter. Themes like free people to take the lead, enable them to contribute more to the organization, help them grow and develop as well as enjoy their work, and keep yourself strong enough to withstand some of the frustrations and anxieties that come as you serve in leadership roles can be found in variations throughout the book.

The content overlaps in certain ways, resulting in positive repetition of the ideas right when you need the reinforcement. Though each chapter can be studied separately and will assist you in making some improvements in the way you lead, the full impact of these seven essential changes occurs when all of the topics are implemented simultaneously. Consider how difficult it is to encourage trust, risk taking, creativity, and innovation when you appear cool and aloof to workers. An awful clash occurs when you try to free people to take the lead but come down on them with criticism and fail to applaud their accomplishments. Occasional standing ovations thrill even the most staid workers and support them in making changes to improve the workplace or work process.

Leaders who free their cohorts to look at processes and systems more innovatively increase the effectiveness of their quality improvement programs. At the same time, working with fewer restrictions, cohorts implement quality improvement efforts more smoothly. When the structure of a work system is changed to introduce teams, cohorts will work more collaboratively and energetically.

Tensions in all parts of the world seek to undermine our confidence in leaders. Misdeeds and deliberate attacks on both our workplaces and our sensitivities shake the confidence we feel in anyoneÕs ability to lead. This should encourage all of us to examine the mindsets that we bring into leadership positions. We know that much can be done to develop, improve, advance, and make progress in the way in which we lead. The seven changes proposed in this book restore trust, unleash the power of workers, and uncomplicate the lives of leaders.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Preface

Powerful Leadership embodies a new paradigm of leadership that respects and unleashes the potential of people. This is anything but a Pollyanna approach to a serious issue in organizations around the world. The development of more powerful leadership has been and continues to be one of the most concrete goals of society. In fact, having powerful leaders is a must for the survival of companies, institutions, governments, and even countries. Leadership development is a global issue.

This book identifies seven essential changes that elevate leadership and unleashes the latent potential of people in organizations. Leading people in new and invigorating ways must be the paramount objective in fulfilling the vision of the new economy.

We do not intend to survey all the literature on leadership or incorporate all of the current perspectives on leadership in this book. We have, however, included references and insights derived from the extant literature that supplements our perspective in a special section at the end of the book. Please study through those insights for additional ways of thinking about powerful leadership principles. The speeches in Appendix A are primarily examples of the thinking of contemporary individuals who have succeeded in leadership positions, and they deserve your careful reading.

We have avoided putting traditional reference symbols in the body of the book, such as names with dates in parentheses, but we have included publication data in the section on references. We have included some sayings and observations between paragraphs to provide further insights and to occasionally provide humorous interludes. In somecases the sayings are part of the folklore of the American culture and do not have specific authors.

This book was written to be read by individuals who serve in leadership positions at all levels in the organization, from chief executives to supervisors, as well as by leaders in the community who serve as administrators and board members of volunteer groups and organizations. Government leaders, business leaders, religious leaders, community leaders, educational leaders, and leaders in sports and entertainment will all find a new way to work with their cohorts if they follow the essentials described in this book.

Although the chapters of this book tend to follow in a logical sequence, the basic themes appear in every chapter. Themes like free people to take the lead, enable them to contribute more to the organization, help them grow and develop as well as enjoy their work, and keep yourself strong enough to withstand some of the frustrations and anxieties that come as you serve in leadership roles can be found in variations throughout the book.

The content overlaps in certain ways, resulting in positive repetition of the ideas right when you need the reinforcement. Though each chapter can be studied separately and will assist you in making some improvements in the way you lead, the full impact of these seven essential changes occurs when all of the topics are implemented simultaneously. Consider how difficult it is to encourage trust, risk taking, creativity, and innovation when you appear cool and aloof to workers. An awful clash occurs when you try to free people to take the lead but come down on them with criticism and fail to applaud their accomplishments. Occasional standing ovations thrill even the most staid workers and support them in making changes to improve the workplace or work process.

Leaders who free their cohorts to look at processes and systems more innovatively increase the effectiveness of their quality improvement programs. At the same time, working with fewer restrictions, cohorts implement quality improvement efforts more smoothly. When the structure of a work system is changed to introduce teams, cohorts will work more collaboratively and energetically.

Tensions in all parts of the world seek to undermine our confidence in leaders. Misdeeds and deliberate attacks on both our workplaces and our sensitivities shake the confidence we feel in anyoneUs ability to lead. This should encourage all of us to examine the mindsets that we bring into leadership positions. We know that much can be done to develop, improve, advance, and make progress in the way in which we lead. The seven changes proposed in this book restore trust, unleash the power of workers, and uncomplicate the lives of leaders.

Read More Show Less

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