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Discover Your True North by Bill George

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11Empowerment

Where is the spiritual value in rowing? The losing of self entirely to the cooperative effort of the crew as a whole.

—George Yeoman Pocock, boatbuilder, 1936 Olympic gold medal winner

Leaders who make the transformation from I to We and know the purpose of their leadership are able to develop an emotional connection with their followers that gives them the credibility to lead. They need the skills to empower people throughout their organizations, especially first-line employees, around a common mission and set of values.

In the past, many leaders relied on their positional power over subordinates to drive performance. That hierarchical approach rarely works with today's employees, especially the younger generation of millennials, who are highly resistant to being directed by their bosses. Instead, they seek leaders who inspire them and give them the freedom to decide how they will achieve results.

Authentic leaders focus on building personal relationships with people and empowering them to lead, each in his or her own way. In the long run, empowerment is far more successful in developing leaders, building healthy cultures, and achieving sustainable results than the traditional hierarchical approach.

Anne Mulcahy: Empowering People in Crisis

Anne Mulcahy is an exceptional leader who was called upon to lead Xerox through the greatest crisis in its history. Thrust into a position she never anticipated, Mulcahy demonstrated a remarkable ability to rally Xerox's ...

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