Empowering vs. Empowerment

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June 14, 2012 – ISSN# 1545-2646


Empowering vs. Empowerment

Sometimes it is all about the environment!

It is easy to say that you empower your team to accomplish their work activities at your place of business.  The question is – does the environment agree with your words?

The word empowerment has been around for a long time in management books. It refers to providing the necessary strengths and enablers to allow others to achieve their objectives. The books typically capture the spirit of having the leadership empower their staff or giving them the ability to make decisions that would lead to a positive outcome.

In walking through some organizations, I can read the words written on mission statements and look at pictures on the wall talking about empowering the team.  As I interact with team members I sometimes must question the gap between the message and the environment in the organization.

For example, a leader empowers his/her staff to make decisions but then second guesses their decisions.  Challenging them to do it this way or that way.  Rather than increasing empowerment the leader actually suffocates it by not allowing or trusting in the decisions of the people they empowered to make decisions.

They may want to believe they have a culture of empowerment but they take away the empowering energy to allow that culture to thrive. What evolves is an environment of lack of trust. The language is all about everyone doing their job but the accountability is all about a limited few people having the final say in most all decisions.

This week, look at your business culture.  Are you supporting and cultivating an environment to be empowering or simply using the words to attempt to empower but not providing the culture to back it up.

Need a culture makeover in your business? Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945


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Grosse Pointe Farms
MI 48236


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