Today, today, this word can be so powerful if actually done. Yet, the word "empower" is almost so overused sometimes I think people become numb to it, and it never actually occurs. The good part is, it can be easily done, we just have to "let go" and empower our people, or our kids, to make decisions and accept the outcomes however they may fall.
We all are familiar with the United Airlines recent incident, and this incident could have been totally avoided, if decision making ability was truly empowered. The issue comes up, as with many corporate or government work environments, people talk about empowerment, but reactions to decisions "delete" the word. This happens because in some organizations, large or small, if a person makes a decision, and it is wrong, they get reprimanded or bonked in the head like the "whack a mole" arcade game, and that person then "falls in line", and never wants to make a decision again, and asks for their superior to make the decision.
It is a very common problem in organization hierarchy, that is often created through "chain of command" thought process. We see it routinely in our interactions with many large organization and government institutions. In the United Airlines incident, the whole thing could have been avoided, if people would be truly empowered to "make the right decision". That is really all it would have taken, to make the right decision, and that never would have happened. Instead, given the massive amount of "corporate crap" these poor people have to follow, they can't "make a decision", otherwise they could get fired. The amount of corporate crap they have to follow is so massive, that their customer service is horrendous, and you can feel the almost hate and negativity as you fly with them, much like AA.
The key in all of this is, be it at work or at home, we have to truly empower people to make a decision, and we must follow it up with, "I've got your back." "I will support you." "If you make a mistake, don't worry about it. We will talk about it and move forward. You won't get whacked with a hammer." And with our kids, we must let them decide now, make decisions now, early in life, so they can make the wrong ones while under our roof, so that we can be their to help soften the blow or pick the up off the floor so they can learn from their poor decision, and move forward.
If we don't empower our people to make decisions, we will have organizational paralyzation, and at home, we will have adults acting like kids when they should be acting like adults and "skidding their knees" even harder at 22 versus 12 years of age. Let them make the decision, and be there for them when they fail to help them clean it up. And celebrate the great decisions, so they want to make another great decision on their own! Let them decide! And we all know how good it makes us feel when we are empowered to make the right decisions! Cheers amigos! Happy Leadership Thursday! #KeepAtIt #PassionForPeople #ChangingLives