Chapter 4 Pg’s 103-104 Lead With Love By: Gerry Czarnecki
No amount of mentoring, tutoring, or classroom instruction can prepare an associate for the on-the-spot actions that occur every day. Forced to make an immediate decision, an associate can synthesize the bits and pieces of prior training into new knowledge that is practical and sustainable in the daily workplace.
Giving your associates the ability, indeed the authority, to make decisions on their own without consulting a rulebook is a critical component of empowerment. Empowerment does not mean ignoring the rules. Empowerment means authorizing your associate to act in a manner that is in the organization’s best interest. You are showing your associates you trust their judgment, indeed love them enough, to consider the same factors and to make much the same decision you would make under similar circumstances. Empowerment is giving authority to act based on trust and love.
Empowerment is a strong vehicle for learning and growth. It is often amazing how well your associates perform when they know the decisions they make are final. If you have hired the right people and taught them well, then they will rise to the occasion. Yes, they will make judgment errors, but more often than not, the lesson and the values you have instilled will carry the day. If you hold the associates back by not allowing them the opportunity to succeed or fail, they will never mature to their full potential. The thrill of being the decision-maker helps all of us focus on making correct decisions. With solid development, coaching, and mentoring, associates are prepared for that exhilaration of success. On the other hand, associates not well coached can swing all the way from astounding success to disastrous failure. Empowerment can only happen when development has been thorough. Allowing your new associates the opportunity to make decisions involves risk. An individual’s failure can cause the unit’s failure. You will be required to assess when to allow the empowerment to continue and when to rein it in.