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The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-119-28241-9
240 pages
November 2016
The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work, 2nd Edition (1119282411) cover image

Description

Empowerment produces the conditions for high performance. Especially for middle managers and below. Empowered cultures attract and retain talent. They produce high achievement, high accountability and high commitment.

The Empowered Manager uncovers a roadmap to creating a more accountable culture in today's fragmented and virtual world. Bestselling author Peter Block is a true visionary: author of the classic Flawless Consulting, his work is about empowerment, stewardship, chosen accountability, and reconciliation of community. In this book, he returns his eye toward management to renew our efforts to create a shift in the traditional hierarchy. Twenty years after the original book, Block talks of why it is so difficult to both open the door to empowerment and more importantly, have people walk through it. It is more important than ever to create a culture in which all members of an organization are treated as entrepreneurs, giving them ownership over their role and responsibilities. This is in the face of the reality that most employees want safety, not the adventure of empowerment.

Peter enhances the first edition of the book by acknowledging employees wish for dependency. Their longing for the days when a job carried a promise of a future, and companies cared more about the product and the people, than about the money.

This is written primarily for people in the middle. Good managers and employees who care more about doing good work and treating people right, than ambition and making it into the ruling class. The upper middle and below is where there is the greatest need for great management. Which builds on valuing strengths, and allowing talent the space to stretch and achieve. Almost independent of the power points of people at the top. This book shows you how a new approach to management empowers all employees at all levels, and culminates in better business outcomes for the entire organization.

  • Help shape a culture of commitment
  • Develop the political skills to negotiate successfully
  • Take responsibility for your actions
  • Learn to fail up, and face setbacks with courage

If you feel controlled by bureaucracy, unrewarded for creativity, and from a distance, powerless to control your own destiny, this book is the breath of fresh air your career has been craving. Timeless tips from a master of business strategy alongside a framework for more effective management makes The Empowered Manager a must-read guide for anyone doing business today.

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Table of Contents

Prologue: To Read or Not to Read ix

Introduction: Why Empowerment Now and Again xv

1 Managers in the Middle 1

PART ONE Politics in the Workplace—Rekindling the Entrepreneurial Spirit 7

2 Personal Choices That Shape the Work Environment 9

The Road Most Traveled 9

Now You See It, Now You Don’t 11

Choosing an Entrepreneurial Path 12

When to Play It Safe 19

3 A Culture of Empowerment 21

The Bureaucratic Cycle 22

The Entrepreneurial Cycle 24

The Patriarchal Contract 26

Myopic Self-Interest: The Myth That Advancement and Self-Esteem Are Related 35

Manipulative Tactics 50

4 The Empowerment Choice 59

The Entrepreneurial Contract 66

Enlightened Self-Interest 78

Authentic Tactics 87

PART TWO Positive Political Skills at Work 97

5 Creating a Vision of Greatness 99

Claiming Our Autonomy by Creating a Vision 99

What Is a Vision and Why Is It Important? 100

Creating the Vision 106

Communicating Our Vision 117

Coaching Others in Creating Their Vision 119

6 Negotiating with Allies and Adversaries 127

The Critical Skills: Negotiating Agreement and Negotiating Trust 128

7 Balancing Autonomy and Interdependence 151

Political Scripts 153

The Right Use of Scripts 167

Interdependence 169

Autonomy and Interdependence 171

Finding Peace with the Boss 172

8 Facing Organizational Realities 177

Nonsuicidal Courageous Acts 179

9 Enacting the Vision 187

Moving Toward Tension 188

Final Thoughts 189

Annotated Bibliography 195

About the Author 197

Acknowledgments 199

Index 201

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Author Information

PETER BLOCK is a leading organization development consultant specializing in empowerment, stewardship, chosen accountability, and the reconciliation of community. He is founder of Designed Learning, a provider of consulting skills training services that enable organizations to create sustainable change through engagement. He is the bestselling author of Flawless Consulting, now in its third edition.

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