It's not just semantics LO6497

Rol Fessenden (
07 Apr 96 22:41:44 EDT

Replying to LO6290 --

On Fri, 29 Mar 1996 wrote:
> In a recent situation, the "empowered staff" found out what that really
> means: if you make the same decision that the boss would have made, then
> you're empowered. If you don't make the same decision, then be prepared
> to bear the consequences, even if you try to point out that you're
> supervisors are somehow incorrect or inconsistent.

This is a perfect example of a manager or supervisor whose heart is more
or less in the right place, but has never had any mentoring, training, or
guidance on how to execute. He or she believes in empowerment, but has
not fully defined exactly what that means or how it is going to feel. He
or she is also -- rightly I might add -- concerned about how their
performance will be viewed by their manager. If this is not a success,
neither this supervisor nor the empowered staff will like the outcome. It
is difficult to find the right way to "delegate responsibly" and be sure
the outcomes will be good news for all concerned.

The most common way most of us -- myself included -- have responded to
this manager has been with cynicism, and blaming. I now understand what I
did not before -- they want to do the right thing, but it is not
intuitively obvious how to do it, and no one provides guidance.


Rol Fessenden LL Bean, Inc.

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