Byron's Babbles

Creating Autonomy Is More Than Stepping In A Puddle

Simple Truth #12, “Create Autonomy Through Boundaries”, in Simple Truths of Leadership: 52 Ways To Be A Servant Leader and Build Trust, Making Common Sense Common Practice by Ken Blanchardand Randy Conley reminded me of what my friend and mentor David Marquet always says, “[empowerment and agency without developing the technical skills will create chaos.” Blanchard reminded us of this in this chapter when he said, “Ensure people are aware of all procedures, rules, and laws” (p. 37). The development, goals, expectations, and accountability give us the boundaries.

“A river without banks is a large puddle.”

John Carlos and Alan Randolph in Empowerment Takes More Than A Minute

Just yesterday, as I was in a gathering as a part of some Aspen Institute work in education I am doing right now, we were contemplating how to make sure our educators have the professional growth and development to do all the work that science tells us is necessary to enhance the quality and depth of student learning when the students have opportunities to interact with others and make meaningful connections to subject material. This is really a combination of the teachers and students having the autonomy to do this important work. Therefore, it is important for organizations to take a systems approach to promoting development and addressing both student and adult skills and beliefs; organizational culture, climate, and norms; and routines and structures that guide basic interactions and instruction. I don’t believe this looks much different no matter what the organization is in the business of doing. If we want more than a “puddle” of autonomy we must create the meaningful opportunities for developing the right ethos for autonomy, agency, and empowerment.