Empowering and Enabling LO5285

Virginia I. Shafer (vshafer@AZStarNet.com)
Thu, 1 Feb 1996 11:20:23 -0700

Replying to LO5242 --

Alan, In relpy to Joe Hayes comments, you added,

>People have power. For many reasons they choose not to use it. Many of
>those reasons are attributable to what Deming would call common causes.
>Much of what masquerades as empowerment in UK has been of the extrinsic
>variety. Like extrinsic motivation I feel it is a fancy name for

I can't help but be reminded of Vilfredo Pareto's "80-20" Rule. The
Pareto Principle says, 80% of the trouble comes from 20% of the problems.
Dr. Juran brought this concept to management studies to help focus on the
"vital few" problems. But I've also known this relative number to be used
by teachers, supervisors, and managers (although the ratio is often 90-10)
where 80% of headaches are caused by 20% of the people (or things).

As every good "rule" should have a corollary....In the book, _Enlightened
Leadership_, (authors' names slipped my mind, copy of book slipped my
possession), the authors site studies where it was found, 20% of people
have the self-esteem to be intrinsically motivated, demonstrate
initiative, and can be self-directed. Whereas, 80% of those studied
needed encouragement, felt they had to get permission to do things, lacked
initiative. These numbers are pretty consistent with my experiences
leading up to 250 people directly.

I agree people have "power," but I believe it will often take much
"enabling," or preparation of the environment for some people to "choose"
to use it.

Ginger Shafer
The Leadership Dimension
"Bringing Leadership to Life"