The value of employee empowerment is important to sustaining a successful organization — true. But how can a leader create a platform of engagement that facilitates empowerment? Command and control management is out, and in its place lie “track and trust” leadership. Leaders who grasp this change have a clear advantage over leaders who don’t when it comes to employee engagement and employee development. The result? A high-performance organization.

Now, the question remains, how can you make the change in your organization?

6 steps to success

  1. Character-driven leadership

Leaders who understand that they are responsible for their employees as well as the organization are ready to take the first step into this journey. True leadership involves capturing the emotions of followers by helping them understand that professional growth and personal well-being are important to the leader. Staff will not make independent decisions if they have a jerk “boss.”

  1. Define and embrace a culture

Establishing the purpose, values, vision and mission result in the organizational code of conduct. (read more…)

Entrepreneurial activity among men and women is most equal in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2012 Global Report released this month. The report also identified the region as one of the most fertile when it comes to entrepreneurial activity.

According to the report, Zambia posted the highest rate for total entrepreneurial activity at 27%. The stat measures the percentage of adults between the ages of 18 and 64 who are new or developing entrepreneurs.

Women entrepreneurs were less common in the Middle East and North Africa, where researchers reported that men were 2.8 times more likely to start their own businesses than women. Women accounted for only 5% of Pakistani entrepreneurs, and fewer than one-fifth of entrepreneurs in Egypt, Korea and Palestine.

However, the report also revealed that Ecuador, Ghana, Nigeria, Panama and Thailand were fruitful regions for female entrepreneurs. The countries all reported that the total entrepreneurial activity rate for women was higher than for men. (read more…)

So what is it about job burnout that can kill you?

I was recently on a flight sitting next to an executive for a top-ranked health care company. We were having a nice conversation, and then she disclosed something that shocked me. She was 51 and had survived two heart attacks.

She’d never smoked and didn’t have a litany of medical issues but did have plenty of work stress in her life, and she was admittedly burned out.

Job burnout is the new smoking

This experience got me thinking about how job burnout has become a health crisis that rivals that of smoking. It’s become a nasty habit that’s killing us softly. You probably already know that smoking increases your chance of a heart attack as well as a long list of other health-related issues. But do you recognize that burnout has a similar impact?

Just look around the office and you’ll notice the physical impact of burnout. (read more…)

In 1998, a 35-foot boat called the AFR Midnight Rambler accomplished an amazing feat — winning one of the toughest ocean races in the world. The Sydney to Hobart is demanding every year, but in 1998, an unexpected “weather bomb” hit the fleet, creating 80-foot waves and 100-mile-per-hour winds.

While bigger, better-equipped boats tried to maneuver around the storm, the crew of the AFR Midnight Rambler chose to head directly into its path and ultimately won the coveted Tattersall’s Cup — the smallest boat to win in 10 years.

How did they do it? And what lessons can we learn from this team of “amateur” sailors to make our own teams more successful?

One of the keys to the Rambler’s success was their ability to recover quickly from setbacks. Just as people vary in their ability to deal with stress so do teams. And like individuals, teams can develop the capacity for rebounding from pressure and setbacks. (read more…)

How civil is your workplace? Recent research from Weber Shandwick indicates that more than 4 in 10 Americans have experienced workplace incivility, and 38% of Americans believe that the workplace is becoming more uncivil and disrespectful than a few years ago.

Workplace civility is a global issue. For example, in 2006, a British court awarded a Deutsche Bank employee £800,000 in damages for a “relentless campaign of mean and spiteful behaviour designed to cause her distress.”

There are hard dollar costs to workplace incivility. In AICI’s recent Civility Counts white paper, research from civility experts Christine Porath and Christine Pearson described pervasive declines in workplace productivity due to incivility. Intentional decreases in work effort (48% admitted this), time at work (reported by 47%), and work quality (38% fessed up to this) were reported. 80% lost work time worrying about uncivil incidents, 66% said their performance declined, and an amazing 78% reported a decline in their commitment to their organization. (read more…)