partnership not patronizing best way to build a culture

Sam Walton built Bentonville, Arkansas based Wal-Mart into the world’s largest retailer through treating staff as respected partners. One of his legacies was to “treat them as partners and they will treat you as a partner and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations.”

A scout leader was trying to lift a fallen tree from the path. His pack gathered around to watch him struggle. “Are you using all your strength?” one of the scouts asked. “Yes!” was the exhausted and exasperated response. “No. You are not using all your strength,” the scout replied. “You haven’t asked us to help you.”

“In chaotic times, an executive’s instinct may be to strive for greater efficiency by tightening control. But the truth is that relinquishing authority and giving employees considerable autonomy can boost innovation and success at knowledge firms, even during crises. Our research provides hard evidence that leaders who give in to the urge to clamp down can end up doing their companies a serious disservice.”
A.D. Amar, Carsten Hentrich, and Vlatka Hlupic, “To Be a Better Leader, Give Up Authority,” Harvard Business Review

“Firms of Endearment leaders view stakeholders as partners, not as objects of exploitation or means to their financial ends. They don’t objectify stakeholders. Instead, they encourage stakeholders to collaborate with them in moving their companies forward.”
Raj Sisodia, Jag Sheth and David B. Wolf, Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose 

“The very essence in all power to influence lies in getting the other person to participate. The mind that can do that has a powerful leverage in this human world.”
Harry Allen Overstreet, early 20th-century professor, psychologist, and sociologist

“To create the vision of a company, emotionally intelligent leaders need to move beyond a solo scrutiny of an organization’s vision to drawing on the collective wisdom of followers. Side by side with the rest of the organization, leaders co-create the vision that will serve to rally and energize the group as a whole.”
Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee, Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence

“The more that top management wants internal commitment from its employees, the more it must try to involve employees in defining work objectives, specifying how to achieve them, and setting stretch targets.”
Chris Argyris, “Empowerment: The Emperor’s New Clothes,” Harvard Business Review,

“Programs that mobilize frontline employees to feel ownership of change are four times more likely to succeed, programs that empower employees to use their own initiative to achieve aspirations for change are five times more likely to succeed, and programs that make the organization feel engaged and energized through communications and involvement are four times more likely to succeed than programs that don’t do these things.
Scott Keller and Colin Price, Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage (ten year global study of 500 firms by McKinsey)

‘Nothing makes people resist new ideas or approaches more adamantly than their belief that change is being imposed on them.”
Warren Bennis, An Invented Life: Reflections on Leadership and Change