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From Chief Executive Officer to Chief Engagement Officer

As a CEO, you’re used to thinking of your job as a decision engine. But what if you’re missing a key component of your mission—and leaving behind top-notch employees as a result?

In today’s business landscape, which is experiencing an epidemic of low employee engagement the role of a CEO has to evolve to rise to this occasion. As CEO, start to think of your role as Chief Engagement Officer. This transformative approach prioritizes the engagement and empowerment of teams, laying the foundation for organizational success.

In our book, The Great Engagement, we outline a transformative equation for employee engagement:

Engagement = Aspiration + Empowerment.

So, how can you as the CEO start to make that happen?

Aspiration: Fueling Engagement with Purpose

The journey towards profound engagement begins with a shared aspiration—aligning the team's goals with the organization's purpose. This alignment not only motivates but also invests each member with a sense of belonging and contribution towards a collective mission.

Empowerment: The Key to Unleashing Potential

Empowerment stands as the cornerstone of engagement. By granting team members the authority to make decisions, CEOs can harness their creativity, energy, and innovation. William L. McKnight's leadership philosophy at 3M can be summed up in this fantastic quote: “If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give the people the room they need.” We only need to look at the success of 3M to see what a difference that philosophy made to the growth of the business.

However, the path to empowerment is often obstructed by the very leaders aiming to guide it. The practice of micromanagement, setting rigid boundaries, and dictating processes can stifle creativity and reduce employees to passive followers. Have you ever asked yourself if it’s possible you, as CEO, are your biggest obstacle?

Practical Strategies for Empowering Your Team

Goal Clarity: Beyond Job Descriptions

The first step in empowering your team involves redefining job roles from mere tasks to essential contributions to the organization's mission. This approach encourages employees to see the bigger picture and find innovative ways to support the collective goal.

Open Dialogue: Cultivating Creative Solutions

Engaging team members in discussions about goals, challenges, and potential solutions fosters a culture of innovation and collaboration. Simple, open-ended questions can unlock a wealth of creative ideas, propelling the organization forward.

Belief in Potential: The Foundation of Empowerment

Perhaps the most challenging yet rewarding strategy is the unwavering belief in each team member's potential. Showing your employees trust and support, even in the face of doubt, has a transformative impact on their commitment to their mission.

Becoming your organization’s Chief Engagement Officer isn’t just what’s best for your people; it’s a strategic imperative in building a vibrant, innovative, and committed workforce. By embracing the engagement equation of Engagement = Aspiration + Empowerment, leaders can unlock the full potential of their teams and steer their organizations towards unprecedented success.

We dive into our Engagement Formula in our bestselling book, The Great Engagement, available on Amazon.


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