Leadership Behavior Model, Six Leadership Qualities, Empowerment


Quotes from pamphlet:

“Empowerment involves trust at the managerial level; a leader must be able to trust that his/her employees have the skills and character to get the job done.

Empowerment is ‘Giving employees the freedom to make decisions and providing the necessary support to allow them to succeed,’ according to Covey.

Covey describes the six conditions of empowerment:

  1. Skills: What a person can do.
  2. Character: What a person is.  These first two conditions are really ‘pre-conditions’ of empowerment.  They are required to establish the next four conditions.
  3. Win-Win Agreement: This is a ‘psychological contract’ between the manager and employees.  It involves specifying the desired results, setting guidelines, identifying resources, defining accountability, and determining consequences.
  4. Self-Supervision: With the ‘what’ established in the win-win agreement the employee is given the freedom to determine ‘how’ to achieve the desired results.
  5. Helpful Structure and Systems: Management creates helpful structures and systems to support the efforts of the employees.
  6. Accountability: Employees evaluate themselves against the established agreement.

Leadership Behaviors Associated with Empowerment

  1. Communicates clearly the expectations of a task and gives the employee the freedom and support needed to succeed.  Expectation without the freedom to act is supervision, not empowerment. An expectation without support is dumping.
  2. Becomes a source of help to employees in meeting their expectation by asking, ‘What are you trying to accomplish, and how can I help you?’
  3. Allows employees to ‘supervise themselves’ within the framework of the expectations that have been established.”

Personal comments:

This is one of the most frustrating concepts of Empowerment that managers rarely get a grasp of.  The following experience establishes the point:

This company built a new building to replace one that was too small, for a growing support staff.  New equipment was ordered and put in place, and I drove to the site to see the results.

One of the support staff was working in the office at the time and we started up a conversation.  He was telling me about his new desk, and in doing so, I noticed there weren’t any drawers in this “desk”, which was actually a table.  So I asked where he kept his office supplies (pencils, paper, and other personal items).  He leaned over and pulled a  cardboard box from under his “desk” and opened it, then said, “here”.  I was flabbergasted, and responded with, “you are kidding me.  A new building was built, equipped, and you have a cardboard box for drawer”?  Then I walked over to his supervisor’s office, closed the door, and proceeded to explain how degrading that was for his employee.  The response, as usual, was that there wasn’t enough money, the department manager’s style of supervision, and other attempts to “point fingers”.  My response was, “to hell with those excuses, and find someway to correct the insult”.

This example of mistreatment of employees to “supposedly” save dollars had the opposite effect.  The consequences are unmotivated, disgruntled employees who effect business and individual success in a negative way.

Empowerment as defined: “make (someone) stronger and more confident”, affects the human condition in so many ways.

Next: Leadership Behavior Model

Six Leadership Qualities

Leadership Styles

Leadership Behavior Model, Six Leadership Qualities, Be Proactive


Quotes from pamphlet:

“A proactive leader  tells him, her self, “I always have a choice.  I am responsible for my choices and decisions.

There are two kinds of people in most organizations

1.  Stimulus-Response:  Most people fall into this category, in which their lives are controlled by others.  They become victims and defensive, blaming other for everything.

2.  Stimulus-Belief System-Responsive:  These people choose how to respond to the stimuli and control their own lives.  They are victors, not victims.  They influence the world.

(Company) leaders must be in the second category, determining their own destinies and helping others to do likewise.

If all employees, both management and labor, accept responsibility for their own actions and do not blame or accuse others, Covey says, the opportunities will be unlimited.  Initiative, creativity, recommendations for improvement and acting on those recommendations will flow abundantly.

Leadership Behaviors Associated with Proactivity

  1. Responds and does not react.
  2. Behaves like a victor, not a victim (values-based, not feelings-based).
  3. Works to break down barriers between departments.
  4. Accepts responsibility for his/her own actions.
  5. Takes initiative and responsibility to make things happen.
  6. Behaves as a solution to problems, not problems themselves.
  7. Looks for alternatives to solve problems.
  8. Keeps commitments and promises.
  9. Works on things he/she can do something about.
  10. Develops him/herself first in order to have greater influence with others.”

Personal comments:

This model never “sunk in” with the majority of managers in this company, and the reason was they did not see this model in the staff.  Two examples; a young, extremely knowledgeable , and personable engineer worked under a staff member who made this engineer very frustrated, to the point that he resigned and went to work for a similar organization in Wisconsin.  The other example is the extremely intelligent, hard working systems manager who suffered the same fate I did because he was “too aggressive” in finding alternatives to solve ongoing system problems.

Looking back at the 10 Behaviors listed above, those that were visibly missing in management were, well, all of them.  They were replaced with pettiness due to the ineptness of the CEO.

But don’t be surprised.  No doubt, some of you have the same reaction to your organization’s management.  Today leadership has been replaced by pointing fingers, absence at work and absent in conversations, and in angry outbursts (as videotaped recently of a manager punching a female employee in the face), brown-nosing, and, well, you can add your experiences to the list.

Next: Leadership Behavior Model

Six Leadership Qualities


Leadership Behavior Model, Six Leadership Qualities, Trust


Quotes from pamphlet:

“Trust (noun)

1. Firm belief in some quality of a person or thing

2. Hope

3. Confidence in

4. Obligation

5. Custody

Trust (verb)

  1. Have faith or confidence in
  2. Hope
  3. Rely on
  4. Believe

Leadership Behaviors Associated with Building Trust

  1. Matches words with action
  2. Follows through by keeping commitments and being responsible
  3. Communicates effectively be demonstrating respect
  4. Shares information
  5. Addresses issues head-on
  6. Keeps confidences”

Personal comments:

As we discuss these leadership qualities keep in mind the following Mission and Vision statements developed by this group:

Mission: Our Mission is to deliver high quality energy and communications products and services at the best value for rural Michigan customers.

Vision: By the year 2003, (company name) will be recognized by our customers, employees and competitors as the leader in our industry.

Since I still live in Michigan I find it curious that I’ve not heard a word about this “leader in our industry” statement.

Trust is the most important leadership quality, and in most, if not all companies, it doesn’t exist to the level it should.  Specifically, for this company, there were few (not all) who could be trusted, from the board members on down.

Putting words on paper, and then not following through at the leadership level, ensured less than being a “leader in the industry”.  Look at the “Behaviors associated with Building Trust”.  I would say that less than 20% of management were actually considered/tried/thought important.  The behavior of the leaders fit with the old 80-20 rule (From Wikipedia: The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.  In other words 80% of the managers followed the old pattern, while 20% made an effort to improve their leadership abilities.  Think of that principle as we continue the Leadership Behavior Model.

Next: Leadership Behavior Model

Six Leadership Qualities

Be Proactive