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Leadership - Teamwork

[Item Image] Managing Empowerment.
As the film opens, we see empowerment in action, with staff using their initiative, being trusted by
their managers - even when they make mistakes- and being given additional authority to improve
customer / client service.

As part of the handover process between David and Mike Gladwin (the outgoing MD) we learn
more about the decision making that is now the responsibility of managers, rather than the MD.
David shares his personal reactions to an organisation that is so markedly different from anything
in his experience, and his traditional concept of leadership-, 'people like to know where they

Part 2: 'Just because I do things differently'

Now a few months into the job, David is working to the rules he understands- systems and

He resists Customer Services Manager Jenny's initiative to give Jackie increased responsibility,
and starts to undermine the jobs of Alison (Sales Manager) and Bob (Dispatch Manager). He
demands more management information from Jenny, and takes responsibility for handling
compensation claims away from Bob.

The results are conflict between empowered staff and the non-empowering manager. We see the
disappointment and frustration that this causes. By starting to undo all the empowering work done
by Mike Gladwin, David is undermining morale, and eroding the ownership and commitment of the

As a result, by trying to do other people's jobs for them, he has no time to do his own. He fails to
chase Head Office for the memory upgrade so desperately needed by the Sales and Client
Services Departments.

The Crisis finally erupts when Alison confronts him about his management style, and tells him
about the climate of distrust he is creating; no one really wants to come to work any more.
David sharers his feelings of confusion and dismay with us. He is good at his job, working twelve
hours a day, and they are 'good performers'. What is going wrong?

Part 3: 'So, what are you there to do?'

The scene is the foyer of a small theater. Jackie is relishing the success of the drama production
which she has directed. David, with his wife, has been to see the production. He realises that he
has underestimated Jackie's real abilities. After some reflection, David calls Mike Gladwin and
requests a meeting.

Their meeting underlines the disempowering and empowering management styles - the 'finger on
the pulse', control and systems style, versus trusting people to take decisions, and in return
having the time to do the real job of the leader.

David shares his reactions. All his experience- and success- have taught him to manage through
control. Now he knows he must put the emphasis on people and their abilities. He must regain
the trust that has been lost. And he must do the job he is really there for.

His role is now clearer in his own mind, David bucks the system he supported- illustrated in his
scene with the purchasing director . In doing so , it reveals how systematised he's become. He
realises by 'over managing', he's stopping his team from contributing to the business. The
management style which won him his position now has to change- although it won't be easy.

Trainer's guide
Duration 25 minutes

"All the points are well-made in this skilfully crafted production." Sales and Marketing

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