Archives for the month of: June, 2014

By definition, enable means to give someone the authority or means to do something.

Environments that are trapped in either show-stopping bureaucracy or micro-management create conditions that stand in the way of personal and organizational growth.

Conversely, operations that thrive on delegation and empowerment of employees create the opportunity for optimum and efficient productivity to occur.

An essential success component is to ensure that your colleagues have the direction, information and resources to complete their assignments once delegation has occurred.

Realize that delegation does require appropriate inspection, follow-up and validation that your people have everything they require to successfully  achieve objectives.

Great leaders truly understand their employee’s strengths and desires, and strategically assign work that aligns accordingly. They provide only the necessary guidance, advice and support in route to facilitating an outcome where all stakeholders celebrate victory.

enhance 2

As opposed to job enlargement, which simply increases the number of tasks without changing the challenge, job enhancement or job enrichment increases an employee’s responsibilities while also providing them with additional authority and control over the way their tasks are accomplished.

During various leadership roles throughout my career, it has been universally evident that when colleagues are given new and exciting challenges in their roles, spicing things up with a little meaningful variety, it tends to be quite motivating for that individual.

The engaged type of employees you want to have on your team yearn for excitement, recognition and being part of the organization’s success.

Leaders who further support these employee’s expanded roles with ongoing feedback, encouragement, and communication are often privy to watching career growth unfold before their very eyes as they assist that person in achieving their true potential!

By the way, I’d suggest linking the employees performance directly to a reward (that they desire) to further fuel their fire.  Challenge them and let them surprise you with the results.





Engagement evaluates whether or not your talent is engaged with:

  • what they do
  • the people they work with
  • their leadership
  • their company, its purpose and vision

These connections impact motivation, trust and loyalty…critical elements in terms of employee satisfaction and ultimately retention.

There are  typically three levels of “engagement”:

  1. Engaged: works with passion, has profound positive connections, innovates and are a force that drives performance outcomes.
  2. Not-Engaged: essentially “checked-out”, putting in their time and collecting a paycheck, with little energy or commitment.
  3. Actively Disengaged: a virus to the organization, this group proactively undermines the efforts of their co-workers and the business.

A 2013 Gallup poll found that only 13 % of the work force was Engaged, with 63 % Not-Engaged and 24 % actively Disengaged!

“Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. up to $550 billion each year in lost productivity, are more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away.”

Conversely, engaged colleagues are enthusiastic about their careers, often fully absorbed by their work, and create positive action toward furthering the organization’s reputation, interests and the customer’s experience.

Leadership question: what does your engagement landscape look like?


Simple question: can you get more done by doing it all yourself…or…by enlisting your entire team and giving them the ability to utilize their talents, make decisions and help move your organization toward it’s objectives?

Unbelievably, I’ve seen many managers fall into the trap of thinking they must perform many tasks on their own, believing they can do it quicker or more efficiently.  Perhaps in the short term, but in the long run, this creates constricted and limited performance.

Leaders must understand what each of their people does well, and then DELEGATE to, and EMPOWER, every individual to go EXECUTE.  Not only does this improve operational efficiency, but it provides growth and self-satisfaction opportunities for the employee.

Throughout my career, when subordinates came to me with questions, I wanted to challenge their abilities.  I would often ask them “What do you think you should do?”.  Unless their thought process was completely out of bounds, I would tell them to go do it, and let’s see how it works.

95 % of the time their solution was just fine, and the other 5%, we learned from it!

People will surprise you with their results if you just tell them what to do, and let them figure out how to do it.

Don’t misunderstand.  Leaders must still “inspect what they expect“, monitor progress and course-correct as needed.  However, they don’t have to do it all on their own.

Heck, the results from the empowered person will often turn out better than what the leader would have achieved!

Maxwell empowerment

4 E's

Prior “Boltz” messages have stressed the importance of feedback sessions with your team.  These interactions assure alignment while providing 360 degree candid conversations to occur…IF the leader has created an environment that allows open and honest communication without repercussions!

Such an environment typically promotes the Four E’s noted in the above image.  I believe these are crucial components in achieving the successful leadership of any group, team or organization.

It is well-documented in multiple surveys that employee empowerment and engagement are often key determinants that impact whether a person stays with, or leaves, their employer.

Furthermore, a culture that promotes enhancement of roles and responsibilities while providing the resources and knowledge to enable optimum performance typically achieves results far superior to operations that don’t embrace these strategies.

With these high-level notions in mind, stay tuned for a well-warranted separate discussion on each of these Four E’s in upcoming posts!




From the day a new employee begins work, leaders are “on the clock” in terms of either developing or destroying that person’s career.

An earlier Boltz blog noted that coaching is a constant, ongoing activity which preferably occurs via daily interaction and feedback.

In June 2013, Forbes magazine noted that one of the top five reasons employees leave their bosses is a lack of effective motivation. My belief is that daily feedback sessions allow a tremendous opportunity to reinforce areas of strong performance as well as opportunities for improvement, thus providing an amazing option for delivering that much-needed motivation.

Further, regularly scheduled feedback meetings with employees can reinforce clear expectations, set and measure goals, provide input to the employee as well as allow the employee to discuss their individual needs.  I have found these sessions to be most effective as part of the performance management process

Challenge question: when was the last time you had a candid, transparent and motivating feedback session with each of your direct reports???

Pos feedback




job search 2

Having spent time recently reviewing the plethora of information available regarding career search strategies, I’ve noticed some common denominators that are essential to a job seeker’s efforts.

Regardless of what your approach is, the following appear as consistent and universal actions:

1) Resume content and written communications must be flawless in terms of spelling and grammar.

2) Tailor your resume for the specific position being sought.

3) Whenever possible, include a cover letter which addresses how you will contribute to the hiring company.

4) Address communications to specific individuals (internet resources will allow you to impress hiring managers with this tactic versus using generic titles like “Dear Hiring Manager”).

5) Optimize the use of your professional network and relationships to get referrals, references and information about available positions.

6) Obtain knowledge in advance about any potential employer.  This is crucial in determining if you will enjoy a career there, as well as being a requirement during thorough interview preparation.

Implement all six and improve your chances of having your talent discovered!