How to Empower Your Employees to Make Better Business Decisions

Steve Jobs was notorious for his autocratic leadership style. Instead of empowering his employees to make their own decisions, he would set the strategy, goals and method—and expect them to follow suit. While Apple was incredibly successful under his leadership, some of the downsides of this style are apparent since his passing in 2011 .

The most recent example involves the removal of movies from people’s iTunes accounts. Jobs believed that content (like movies) could be treated like software—instead of buying it, you license it. Now, some media providers are pulling their movies from iTunes, making them unavailable to people who purchased them. If someone had been empowered while Jobs was in leadership to say, “Content isn’t like software. When people buy a movie, they want to keep it forever,” Apple’s customers might be a little happier.

As a company leader, it can be tempting to make all the decisions yourself, but if you want to set your organization up for success (even after you leave) then you need employees who are able to make good decisions on their own—and who feel empowered to do so.

To keep reading, click here: How to Empower Your Employees to Make Better Business Decisions

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One thought on “How to Empower Your Employees to Make Better Business Decisions

  1. I’m not sure we can — fairly — accuse Steve Jobs for something Apple is doing almost a decade after he stepped down from leadership. The fact is that few — if anyone — read the fine print on user agreements. I purchased from Amazon the electronic version of a book written by one of my high school classmates. To my surprise, some time later, that electronic download “expired.” Companies do what they think will make them the most money, including “licensing” things to people, like myself, who — mistakenly — think they actually purchased something once and for all. If there’s a large enough public outcry against such a corporate decision that it starts to hit them in the pocketbook, companies sometimes have to change such practices. All that being said, I’m a huge proponent of empowering employees — to the extent possible — all the way up and down the chain of command. One reason Southwest Airlines is so successful, and so lauded for its customer service, is that it empowers customer-facing employees with the ability and authority to resolve most customer disputes.

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