Tony Charaf

1. Here's how it works. Let's say I need to buy a forklift. There are two ways I can approach this:

a. I can buy it without getting ideas from the people who actually operate this kind of machine. They will accept the new piece of equipment, but their hearts won't be in driving it because I may have purchased one that doesn't meet their requirements. Then their attitude about their jobs and their company will suffer, and our relationship will suffer.

b. Before I make this purchase, I ask my people for their input. If I choose the latter approach, I guarantee they will exceed their performance goals simply because they want to, because they are engaged.

2. If you as a leader can accept that you do not sit at the top of the pyramid, that in fact, you sit at the bottom and are a servant to your people, you will move mountains in the workplace. You will bring the hearts and minds back into the workplace. When you do that, you will have fun and be satisfied internally.

3. Empowering people doesn't mean leaders relinquish their responsibilities. It means you establish goals, anchor the organization to a set of values, give your employees necessary tools and skills, free the organization to do what it can within these parameters -- then get out of the way.

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