Power is sometimes associated with the desire for personal safety. It is also referred to as closely associated with free will, the abilityto choose, and the degree to which a person can influence others. In individualistic societies, personal power is a primary value of the culture and is considered more important than the priorities of the group. This book is about "power with" rather than "power over" others - but also addresses power within oneself. We have written with the intent to help leaders to more effectively empower others within their organizations - but we have focused as well on the critical importance of self-empowerment andthe ability of individuals to take control of their own lives to become the best persons that they can be.It is painfully evident that today's leaders have failed badly at empowering their employees - resulting in relationships that are frequently strained and generating employee commitment that is often "marginal" at best. Worldwide, empowerment and employee engagement are both low and employees have lost trust for leaders in organizations of all types.
The inability of organizations to engender employee commitment and extra-mile performance detracts from the ability of companies to compete in today's global environment - but "old style" command and control management policies nonetheless prevail in many companies - to the detriment of the companies, their customers and employees, and to society at large. Self-empowerment is equally a problem. Employees who wish to grow and progress on the job are common - but 70% of all employees today report that they are actively looking for a new job and many have a low regard for their companies and their companies' leaders. Opportunities for growth are often diminished as managers and supervisors fail to involve their employees in decisions critical to their companies' success. Yet the status quo prevails.
We focus not only on employee self-empowerment but on the personal self-development that many individuals yearn for as they strive to "find their voice" and become the best possible version of themselves. We cite scholars from a broad variety of disciplines in offering their wisdom and add recommendations that can help individuals to acquire the traits and qualities so important to self-improvement. We encourage the readers to invest their time and effort to not only reading this book but to reflecting on its insights. Our intention is to help every reader to discover within themselves abilities and opportunities beyond their expectations as they strive to achieve the success that empowerment and self-empowerment make possible.
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