The surprising misery of empowered teams – Hacker Noon

“Someone make a decision!!!”

My cousin is a remote worker at a company which embraces “employee empowerment.”

The CEO doesn’t try to make the decisions, he leaves that to the team.

He trusts the team to do the right thing.

Sounds good on paper, right? But the reality is miserable.

For example, my cousin spent two hours last night trying to “get on the same page” with 4 co-workers over slack about what date to publish a blog post he’d written.

Not about the content of the blog post, or even the headline or call-to-action, but about which date it should be published on their site.

Why? In his words:

“The CEO tells us we’re empowered, but that feels like an excuse to never show up or be available to us.

He tells us that he trusts us to ‘do the right thing’, but no one has any idea what’s right.

Worse, because no one knows what’s right, everyone just argues for their opinion. We’re told to ‘get everyone on the same page’, so the arguing continues as people tire and drop out.

The last man standing wins.”

That isn’t empowerment, it’s chaos.

Needless to say, he’s looking for a new job. 🙁

Learn from the mistakes of others.

Empowering your team takes more work, not less work.

Do the work to empower your team. Not sure where to start?

Ask them; they know what they need.

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