5 Principles that Boost Leadership and Empowerment Practices

Principles that Drive Practices Leading to Better Empowerment

  1.  True professionals proactively and respectfully earn empowerment rather than wait for it—planning, stating intent, getting feedback, improving, and working with cooperation….
  2. Best-Self Servant Leaders state intent, expectations, and parameters to boost initiative and trust, decrease confusion and conflict, and improve preparation and promotion aimed at mission, desired results, and great teamwork.
  3. Leaders who leave lasting legacies puts tools and systems in place to motivate good people to do the right things automatically (even when they are not present), such as plans, assessments, and rewards that align hiring, training,  working, and leading.
  4. People Development Professionals (HR, training…) have plans and best practices in use to inspire and guide them as well as coach others (if the people do not have plans that align them to the organization’s plan, where else would you start if you want to improve inspiration and focus on desired results?).
  5. Assessing employee satisfaction is good, though helping people assess and develop attitude and ability proves more powerful and will influence satisfaction in themselves as well as the organization.

Note: #4 Leaders need to make sure HR and training people have systems in place that support principles because good HR professionals can influence the leaders and all others in the organization. Without good people development programs and best practices, leadership and performance fluctuates more with changes in roles. They should make sure people have at least a basic plan with a positive performance evaluation and improvement process, plus a compensation and promotion system that rewards what leaders of the mission and values say they value. With good systems, leaders and professional team members focus on desired processes more often. It’s one of the requirements of a Best-Self Leadership Organization. David

Dyson Empowerment Model Gold

5 “R” Questions to Answer for Leaders in Empowerment

The next generation of leadership will include more emphasis on Best-Self Leadership–to do our best and help others do the same.

Leaders will invest more early on to design and teach what Plans, Actions, and Results get rewarded here. Like a professor, outline what it takes for A, B, C…, ask about their goal, and identify how you can help.

Part of the process can include answering these “R” questions for what gets:

Rewarded – Required – Recommended – Requested – Reprimanded

For example:

What is required to fulfill your job?

 What gets rewarded in performance review, pay, promotion…?

What gets reprimanded if you do or don’t do certain things?

It’s better to answer these in the hiring process and early on in training instead of wait until the end of the first year when for some supervisors and employees the first meaningful review of performance and preferences takes place. The leader and professional take shared responsibility for gaining shared vision for performance and promotion to higher levels of trust for empowerment–in the same job or new roles and responsibilities.

Source: Earning and Delegating Empowerment Workbook, David@LifeLeaders.us

Dyson Empowerment Model Gold

Leadership and Empowerment

Dr. Ken Blanchard taught in “Situational Leadership” courses and books as well as  at our seminar in 1994 that we should choose different leadership approaches with people at different levels of “maturity” and we should even choose different leadership approaches with the same person–if maturity is high, “delegate,” though for a new role “tell.” He inspired part of the concept behind the Leadership and Empowerment Model I will share Thursday.

Coach Bear Bryant said he thought he was right “treating everyone the same” until he discovered later in his career his leadership should change based on the needs of each person.

Dr. Stephen Covey taught in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” at our seminar in 1993 and in his best-selling book that people should “Be Proactive” in learning and taking action to earn empowerment and “begin with the end in mind.”

Col. Stretch Dunn (USA Ret), my co-author in Professionalism Under Stress andPatriotism in Action, also believes true professionals develop character and competence in anticipation of “the call.” In chapter 2 of our first book,the second lesson for true professionals: earn empowerment rather than wait for it (state intent for action with the leader to boost feedback and cooperation.

Standing on the shoulders of these men and more, I believe this seminar is part of the core curriculum for best-self leadership. –David

You are invited to

Life Leaders at Lunch

Earning and Delegating Empowerment

Thursday, March 26, 11:45-1
201 Office Park Circle /  3rd Floor Boardroom / Birmingham Area

For info about attending: David@LifeLeaders.us

Nobel’s “World Betterment Remedy: The Seven Rights”

Claes Nobel, the senior member of the Nobel Prize family, delivered the keynote address for the 50th anniversary of the International Services Council of Alabama – now Global Ties Alabama. “My dear, most respected audience,” Nobel said in his keynote address, on March 6, 2015, at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, “together we can change the world! This is our choice. Start right now.”

Nobel’s “World Betterment Remedy” are, as he called them, “The Seven Rights”:

  1. Right thought – Dream lofty dreams.
  2. Right word – Watch your tongue.
  3. Right deed – Stop talking; start walking.
  4. Right attitude – Be kind, positive, helpful to all.
  5. Right Livelihood – Step lightly on Earth.
  6. Right Here – World transformation begins in your own community.
  7. Right now – No more excuses. Become an active and very busy person for world betterment and world change.

Life Leaders identify callings and choices. A sense of calling inspires more commitments and courage that leads to action and confidence in one’s ability to take action on opportunities as well as problems. Those who write plans for life are more likely to work with inspiration in professional, philanthropical, and the other areas of life.

Lead your life. Choose to take action. Plan for Life. Answer what will you do in your mind and on paper. Choose priorities. State intent with yourself and others involved. Start. Persist. Have an Impact.

We have freedom of liberty led by veterans. We have freedom of rights led by “foot soldiers.”  Now, we have freedom to flourish at our callings. No more excuses. What will we do identify and fulfill our callings and choices?

7 Components of Attitude & Ability to Develop to Earn Empowerment

Dyson Empowerment Model Gold

Summary Concept for Leaders and Professionals to Improve Empowerment

A leader using the Dyson Empowerment Model will consider trust level for the 7 components of Attitude and of Ability to assess whether to delegate or direct for a particular role. The true professional anticipates what the leader expects, assesses self, outlines a plan for keeping promises and developing self, plus states intent so the leader can affirm, suggest change, or provide more training. Cooperation increases and conflict over expectations decreases.

7 Components of Attitude/Character

Use these components of attitude and questions to assess trust in your preparation and perceived trust from a leader (a leader also considers trust for your capacities for these):

  1. Choice—Have I decided to seek my callings, plan and lead my life, and develop qualities to succeed in this role?
  2. Commitment—Do I have a strong desire to succeed? Am I dependable in behavior? Will I persist to see the job through even amidst difficulties?
  3. Character—Do I have good intent? Good impact? Do I keep promises? Am I trustworthy to do the right thing for the organization and people involved, serving above self? Will my integrity help me persevere after the emotion in which I make promises has passed?
  4. Courage—Am I committed enough, tough enough, to act facing fear? Is my motivation/my reason for succeeding big enough to sustain me if times get tough or disappointing?
  5. Confidence—Do I believe in myself, my attitude and ability, and my chances for success? Can I earn trust in myself and from others in my potential?
  6. Connection—Do I feel connected to our purpose, people, and projects? Am I inspired about the organization and its impact? Do I see the cause and group as bigger than my needs?
  7. Charisma—Am I the kind of person sought as a teammate? Am I a worthy example and encourager? Do I have the right kind of charisma, which comes from character-based values and actions, not just personality? Can I attract people by communicating a vision, doing my part, persuading others to serve, and helping them?

Assess yourself and what you need to be prepared instead of wait for the leader to assess you. State your assessment and intent for developing, sharing how the leader can help.

7 Components of Ability/Competence

Understand that a mature, savvy decision-maker/leader will assess what level of trust he has for the attitude and ability you have to fulfill a task, role, project, or mission. Key components of ability include skills (competence to do something well) and knowledge (knowing what to do). These components help you develop knowledge and skills leading to honed instincts:

Key ways to develop your skills:

  1. Experience—doing something, performing…
  2. Practice—preparing in advance for doing, performing…
  3. Habits and Rituals–combining traditions and time priorities to invest in practice and experience to develop ability to do the right things well, instinctively.

Key ways to develop your knowledge:

  1. Education—academic preparation in general studies and areas of major focus or professional preparation.
  2. Training—instruction and/or coaching in principles and practices for doing your job well technically and in life leadership skills like planning, time and energy management, motivation, ethical decision-making…
  3. Self-study—continuous improvement of knowledge.
  4. Observation—watching others to emulate.

The leader can use this model to state intent—how he decides on level of empowerment—and expectations of you (what is needed and when). A true professional includes in his plan ways to develop in priority areas to earn trust in self and from a supervising leader. You and your leader must each develop trust in your competence and commitment to maximize delegation, minimizing over-supervising and conflict. State your intent for development and achievement to help your leader understand your plans and motives, plus find ways to help you succeed reaching your goals for giving as well as gaining.

Source: Earning and Delegating Empowerment Seminar (Dyson) and Professionalism Under Stress (Dunn & Dyson), chapter 2

Earn EmPOWERment through stating intent for Callings and Choices

Some of the best professionals and leaders are ordinary people who do extraordinary things because of callings and choices that foster desire and commitment to earn empowerment to “be, know, and do” at the highest possible levels.

Adopt the mindset that gaining responsibility, even preparing for promotion, should mainly be a function of earning empowerment instead of waiting for a leader to direct you.

True professionals write plans and state intent with leaders and team members to boost focus, inspiration, performance, and cooperation. Leaders are better able to respond with agreement or change based on your plans and expectations. Results often include improved preparation and promotion in less time with higher trust and fewer losses of time and energy due to misaligned expectations.

Dyson Empowerment Model Gold

Source: Professionalism Under Stress (Dunn & Dyson); Earning and Delegating Empowerment Workbook and Seminar (Dyson)

Earn empowerment rather than wait for it.

Earn empowerment rather than wait for it. Admit that you are more responsible for your performance and career growth than is your supervisor. Identify your desired results and actions in your professional plan. Anticipate what your supervisory leader needs to trust you have earned empowerment. Help your manager serve as a mentor by stating your intent through your plan and seeking coaching. Proactively seek to develop higher levels of trust in your competence and character for the seven levels of empowerment: (1) Tell, (2) Teach, (3) Direct, (4) Coach, (5) Support, (6) Delegate, (7) Empower.

Dyson Empowerment Model

Dyson Empowerment Model Gold

The model shows how one earns trust in self and from others through attitude/character combined with ability/competence. Trust is determined for each key activity. In one role you may need to be told how to start; in another, you may deserve delegation. As trust in your attitude and ability increase, your need for supervision decreases.

As trust increases, empowerment increases and supervision decreases.

Source: Professionalism Under Stress (Dunn & Dyson), chapter 2; www.ProfessionalismUnderStress.com

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Professional – True Professional – Master Professional

Professionalism: professional status, character, or standards.

The general public seems to add the label “professional” to someone who has chosen a profession and has experience. We advocate a higher-level expectation for the true professional.

True Professional: person who seeks mastery and earned empowerment through trust in character and competence, preparing and persisting to develop fitness and habits to do the harder right well—instinctively—even under stress.

True professionals are members of a family, group, unit, team or organization where others count on them. Independence merges into interdependence. Accountability expands beyond personal integrity to trust from others.

Master Professional: professional who knows and does the right things instinctively, with excellence.

Like an Olympic athlete, the master professional develops fitness, capabilities, and instincts through preparation and practice over time until excellence comes naturally.

Professionalism Front Cover

Dunn & Dyson


Application: “go with the flow” is good though should be earned. Plans and persistence toward desired results and habits help develop our instincts to do good things naturally, automatically. When we “go with the flow” without plan or preparation, we more often get pulled by outside influences that may not align with our best-selves.

Decide Who You Want to Be to Inspire What you will Plan and Do

Col. Stretch Dunn (USA Ret) presented a short seminar at the Life Leaders meeting on “Best-Self Leadership.” He included this definition of a “true professional.”

“True Professional: person who seeks mastery and earned empowerment through trust in character and competence, preparing and persisting to develop fitness and habits to do the harder right well—instinctively—even under stress.”

Professionalism Under Stress, Dunn & Dyson

Stretch believes Life Leaders should think about “who” we want to be and that insight can inspire us to plan and take action. He cited that our writing the book Professionalism Under Stress inspired him more to want to be a “true professional” so he would exemplify “character and competence even under stress.” He presented some of his plans to “be” that kind of person.

Professionalism Front Cover