Empowering Leadership: How Great Leaders Manage Less, Lead More, and Love It
They'll Step Up, You'll Step Back and Focus on Bigger Things
The best leaders don't just lead followers—they turn them into leaders who see the needs, step up, and take ownership without being told. That weaves a permanent culture of excellence and initiative into the DNA of the organization—long after the boss steps away.
We call this philosophy Empowering Leadership. It's a simple-yet-measurable approach that adjusts itself over time, according to the needs of the organization. Instead of increasing control, Empowering Leadership shares it as fast as people can handle it. That process is one of the secrets of highly-empowered organizations.
Measurable Leadership That Turns Followers Into Leaders
The central tool of Empowering Leadership is The Leadership Steps™. They're simple to use, yet with immediate impact:
- Step Up to create CLARITY (tell)
- Step Beside to build CAPABILITY (train)
- Step Back to inspire OWNERSHIP (coach)
- Step Away to unleash EXCELLENCE (mentor)
The "right" step depends on the needs of the team, but the ultimate goal is always to Step Away. (And when STABILITY fails, the leader always retains the power and obligation to Step In and take over.)
The result is smart teams and responsible leaders at all levels of the organization. Everyone cares and takes ownership. All brains are switched "on." People are self-motivating. The see the best ways forward without manager intervention. They take the initiative—intelligently and together—to make great things happen.
And there's more. Risk is managed automatically. Leaders have authority to step in, but they rarely use it, which lets them step back to think more strategically. As wasted time and workloads drop, everyone focuses more on the "real work" that matters most. Productivity and profitability jump. People LOVE going to work again. Recruiting and retaining the best talent becomes easy.
Workshops, Training, and Coaching to
Free Yourself, Liberate Your People, and Unleash Excellence
Empowering Leadership training and coaching unleashes empowered excellence in your company.
Starting from day 1, you make the smallest, simplest changes with the biggest positive impact. Your people feel instant success and relief. They get excited to move to the next step, and the next. Confusion stops. Bottlenecks and approval delays disappear. Everyone feels responsibility and ownership. Natural motivation soars. Everyone thinks and takes initiative without special "engagement" or "innovation" programs. People coordinate their work naturally, at the right times, without information overload.
People learn while they do their normal work. The whole change happens without fear, firings, or boring seminars.
Within 90 days your whole organization is feeling the benefits: freedom, focus, motivation, smart decision-making, speed and agility, and excellent results. Everyone knows exactly what they're aiming for, and they love it, because they helped make the vision.
How It's Done
Empowering Leadership is really rapid culture change—replacing the old leader-to-follower mindset with a new, leader-to-leader approach. The result is focused, flexible freedom. It happens under our leadership, or you make it happen with our help.
The first step is our Delphic Interviews. We talk with your key stakeholders and workers. Confidentially and anonymity are assured, so they tell us what we need to know to help you best—and what they're afraid to say out loud. We see the full picture better than you ever could.
Armed with deep insights, we craft a plan that meets your needs AND the pain or needs of your people, so everyone loves it.
Then we train your teams in live, on-site workshops. They learn and practice the principles of Empowering Leadership, then they go into the "real world" to practice what they learned WHILE they work. We observe and coach. The next day they report back, resolve questions, and move to the next step.
We work within your current structure. The goal is to push authority down to the people with the information, instead of trying to push the information up to bosses. But it only happens once action principles are adopted that ensure universal safety—safety for management, safety for the workers, and safety for the company. With that in place, the people closest to the issues can take initiative, feel ownership, and solve the problems. Leaders keep authority and stay close at hand, ready and able to step up (direct) or step beside (train) as needed, but their new role as builders of leaders keeps them anxious to step back (coach) and step away (support) as soon as possible.
It doesn't stop there. For the change to stick you need more than just management methods. You also need to fix the environment that supports your new leadership. Organizational CLARITY, CAPABILITY, FOCUS, VISION, and RESULTS are quickly improved or certified with immediate benefits at each step. In the end, the change moves far beyond basics and transforms your whole organization, for good.
We stay on board to coach and guide until your new culture takes hold and sticks. We step beside you to train, then step back to coach, and soon step away—mentoring as needed. You're never alone.
Real-World Case Study
BEFORE EMPOWERING LEADERSHIP
- Regular, repeated mistakes
- Frustrated leaders and workers
- Regular 50-hour+ work weeks
- Tension, stress, and uncertainty
- Constant changes from the top in spite of worker insights and concerns
- Lots of long, boring meetings
- High turnover, key talent quitting
- Weak profit margins that can't turn around
- Fear of being fired or reprimanded
- "Change fatigue" from new consultants and ideas every few months
TWO MONTHS LATER
- Mistakes are caught early and prevented
- Happy leaders and workers
- 40-hour work weeks returning
- Enthusiasm, clarity, and low stress
- A clear and consistent direction created jointly with management and workers
- Fast-paced meetings that solve real problems
- Staff wants to stay, old key talent is re-hired
- Profit margins jump & feel sustainable
- Universal safety, no massive re-orgs or firings
- The team is excited and participating fully in the change process
The difference was Empowering Leadership. The problem was old-fashioned, command-and-control management, not a bad leader. There's no such thing as a bad leader. There are just bad ways to lead.
What They're Saying
About Empowering Leadership, Empowering Culture Transformation,
and Kevin Crenshaw (Author of Neverboss)
Top of the Top
Since the first day I began working with Kevin Crenshaw, I have been thoroughly impressed by his depth of commitment and full command of his subject.... Kevin has made himself very available and has shown a remarkable degree of care and focus on my success. If you are looking for a true partner to kindly hold your feet to the fire and help you fully integrate both the fundamentals and nuances of profound behavior changing practices, Kevin is the top of the top.
Empowering, Amazing, Effective Leadership
I reported directly to Kevin Crenshaw for the past year +, as our firm’s [transformation] COO. Kevin helped me become a better Manager, Executive Team member, and employee with personal coaching and also by teaching our team basic principles for effective leadership, team-building and proper delegation methods. His many skills include creating and facilitating teams at all levels, empowering individuals to own their jobs and become more efficient in their daily work. He’s also amazing as a personal executive coach. I’ve learned fundamentals that will help me for the rest of my working days. Thanks, Kevin!
Completely Turned Things Around, Ready to Take on the World
Kevin was an amazing guy to work with. He walked into the business I was working for, and instantly took initiative. He welcomed all questions, and offered all the support that is needed from a CEO. He not only stayed professional, but would lighten the mood for anyone when we thought we just couldn't go on, and encouraged everyone to be work at their highest potential. By the time Kevin left, he completely turned things around, and left us all with great hope that we were ready to take on the world. I would be not only overjoyed to work with Kevin again, but it would be an honor.
Truly Awesome and Effective
Kevin Crenshaw helped me institute an "open communication policy" at my organization, and it's been truly awesome and effective. It helped to transform our culture. Our staff has “open communication meetings” as needed, and the outcome is always positive. Thank you very, very much for making a difference by introducing us to this way of communicating.
Massive Change in a Short Time, in All the Right Directions
Kevin Crenshaw is by far the strongest leader I have ever worked under. Kevin has laser-quality clarity and is able to empower and inspire the team into action—the specific actions that produce high leverage results.
In a short time Kevin has supported massive change in all the right directions within this organization. I have enjoyed the journey of working with Kevin, and now some months into our collaboration I can report that my satisfaction with my work is exponentially higher. There is a human foundation of respect and care combined with total inspiration to do great work and produce amazing results as a team.
Kevin is a clear leader and is also an active part of the team with both sleeves rolled up, always with an eye toward results. I could not offer a higher recommendation. I feel lucky to work with Kevin and especially to work directly with him as he has proven to be a dynamic mentor for me at this stage in my career.
The new wave of leadership.
Highest Recommendation, Life Changing
I give my highest recommendation for Kevin Crenshaw.... He deeply understands process, leadership, responsible delegation, and day-to-day pitfalls that keep a manager from performing at their highest level. His advice and systems are, quite literally, life changing. Since I hired him, I am substantially more efficient in managing and delegating tasks, have a holistic top down view of what I am choosing to work on (and why), and feel relaxed and on top of things.
Talk about a Turnaround Expert!
Talk about a turn-around expert! I've repeatedly gotten to the same point in each of my businesses, $1.5mm of revenue with a team that was pretty good, but was still dependent on me. I couldn't seem to break through.... Bringing in Kevin as CEO of the company was the game changer. Now, we are on track to at least double revenues this year and be ready for so much more in the future. Kevin has shown me what it means to be a true leader. Thank you Kevin.
A Sound Investment
An entirely new way of dealing with your life and work. I engaged Kevin Crenshaw as an Executive Coach, which is where he really shines. He helped me through some truly rough professional situations and I continue to engage him now. I really feel that most executives can benefit from having someone help them see from "outside" and throw some (sometimes tough) reality in there. I highly recommend Kevin as a sound investment in your career.
Beyond My Expectation
Kevin Crenshaw led our executive retreat and did an outstanding job! His preparation and delivery were both expertly done. It was evident he had taken great care to create a custom program specifically for our group based on his phone interviews with each participant. The results of the meeting were tremendous and beyond my expectation. I recommend Kevin without reservation.
A Better Working Environment for All
Kevin Crenshaw has served me well and is conscientious about what he does. He is detail oriented and cares about us as his client. My greatest expense on my profit and loss is for people and it is cheaper to fix them than it is to fire and rehire. With Kevin's help, we created a better working environment for all.... He has also helped me to be a better owner and manager.
Transformation Has Been Magnificent
I first hired Kevin Crenshaw as a business coach for me personally. The results were so profound that my partners were asking what happened to me. Then we hired Kevin as a facilitator for our firm's retreat. We were so happy with the results that we hired him as our contract COO. The transformation has been magnificent.
Transformed a Once Struggling Business, Creating Raving Fans
Kevin has been an amazing mentor, coach, and leader while I have been working with New Law Business Model. Not only has his principle-based leadership leadership allowed me to grow into my role as the Director of Content and Product, but I have seen how his leadership has transformed a once-struggling business into a profitable and effective one that over-delivers for its customers—helping to create raving fans and improve customer churn. It has been a pleasure working with him and I cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store for the business thanks to his dedication and leadership.
One of the Most Uplifting Experiences I Have Ever Had
Kevin Crenshaw is a proven professional and a great executive/leadership/management coach. His detail and guidance through these months have proven to be one of the most uplifting experiences I have ever had. I would not be in this position on our company's executive team without the Kevin's help and coaching. I wish that I could put Kevin in my pocket and keep him with me every day. Not only has he enhanced my position at work, but it has carried over to my personal life. He is the best!
Transformed Our Small Business Team, Consistent Profitability
Kevin is truly a leader. He leads with passion and experience. Kevin has transformed the small business team that I am a part of from a team of passionate and dedicated individuals who all meant well but were constantly in the way of growth and forward progress to a team (still dedicated and passionate) of individuals who lead together, make clear and wise decisions, and are in position to keep the company thriving.
With Kevin's guidance the company has stabilized and has gone from consistent $0 profit months to consistent 7-10% profit months.
The "How To" for Developing a High-Performance Organization
A tremendously great read for any business owner! For years I've advised owners on effectively leading their employees, I wish I had simplified it as well as Kevin has done here. He's done such a great job that we are advocating it to all our clients as the "how to" for developing a high-performance organization.