Welcome! May 14, 2008

Developing People ... Inspiring SuccessTM 


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Volume 5, Issue 2   May 2008   ISSN 1556-3820

"Men grow making decisions and assuming responsibilities for them."  

--Bill Marriott, Sr.

   Note From Regina 

Greetings! I’m pleased to report that spring 
has arrived in MN – finally! I know this  because all of the snow in my front yard is now gone. Now I can shift my focus to new outdoor projects that I want to fertilize, nurture and grow. I suspect that the same may be true for some of you whether in your personal or professional life.

I find that May and June are peak months for making headway on key projects and initiatives before the tsunami of summer vacations overtake most companies. It’s also the time of year when employees start to get antsy and look around at what their opportunities are not only in your organization but in competitor organizations as well. Why now? Because by this time of the year, most employees have received their bonus pay and according to what I’m hearing on the street, accepted nominal raises, if any.

What do you think about your employees’ attitudes when they arrive for work on Monday morning? Be sure to take this month’s short poll and let me know.

If improving employee engagement and increasing employee retention are important to you, then don’t miss this month’s feature article, Empower Your Employees to Make Decisions and Watch Customer and Employee Satisfaction Surge!

Don’t forget to visit my website, www.redladder.com, where you will find more information about our strategic consulting, project management, executive coaching, speaking and assessment services, as well as other resources, articles, and tools to help you be more successful.

Yours in success,

Regina Barr

   Feature Article

Empower Your Employees to Make Decisions and Watch Customer And Employee Satisfaction Surge!  

Last month I shared with you several lessons critical to sustained leadership success. One of those lessons was to empower your team to make decisions.

According to last month's Red Ladder poll, almost 36% of respondents indicated that empowering employees to make decisions was the improvement that would make the biggest difference in their organization’s ability to retain talent. (More results…)

Yet so many managers find it difficult to delegate some level of decision making to employees for numerous reasons, primarily fear. Fear of losing control, fear of looking bad if the decision backfires, fear that someone else might get the credit and recognition, and fear that employees might mismanage corporate resources like time and money to name just a few. The bottom line is that it all boils down to fear.

So how do you overcome your fear and empower employees to make decisions? The best way to do this is by helping them develop a competence in decision-making by providing them with a framework and guidelines for using it.

Here is a simple three step approach for making decisions.

1. Identify the problem. As Stephen Covey says you have to begin with the end in mind. In this case, you have to clearly identify and define the problem. Once you are clear then you can brainstorm alternative solutions.

2. Determine a Course of Action. To do this, you need to evaluate the potential solutions and select the one that will best solve the problem while also maximizing the use of resources.  And finally, be sure to develop an action plan including timeline, budget and communication plan to actually implement the solution.

3. Evaluate effectiveness. You do this by measuring results and fine tuning the action plan by making appropriate adjustments. Then go back to identify the key learnings uncovered during the process. This gives everyone an opportunity to look at what worked well, what didn't go as planned and what you would do differently next time. This also gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate the success of both the process and outcomes. And finally, this allows you and your organization to begin developing some best practices around how problems are solved and decisions are made.

Since you can't be available all the time the key is to empower your team to make decisions. Be clear on the kinds of decisions they can make without you and provide the tools they need to make good decisions. Remember, start small and build on successes. Give employees decisions that involve low levels of risk no matter what decision is made.

Training your employees to make better decisions not only eases your workload but will translate into happier employees and more satisfied customers. This is a win-win all around. Now all you have to do is let go of your fear. What are you waiting for?

Copyright 2008 Regina Barr, Red Ladder, Inc.

Regina Barr was a marketing executive before founding Red Ladder, Inc. As CEO she helps organizations manage transitions, complete major projects, build strong teams and develop leadership talent. She is an executive coach, professional speaker, trainer, writer and media commentator who holds master’s degrees in business administration and human development. For more information visit www.redladder.com or www.redladder.blogs.com.


   Pass it on ...

If you find value in this newsletter, I invite you to share it with someone you care about who could benefit. Please forward in it's entirety. You may also publish or reprint this newsletter as long as it is accompanied by Regina Barr's byline and contact info (below the feature article). Please send us a link to the article when it's published.

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About Red Ladder

Red Ladder, Inc. provides services for individuals and organizations with a goal of developing people and inspiring success. Regina Barr, Red Ladder's CEO, holds a BBA, an MBA and an MA in human development. With over nineteen years in the financial services industry, she has a broad range of leadership experience in product, sales, and marketing.

in this issue ...
  • Note from Regina
  • Empower Your Employees to Make Decisions and Watch Customer And Employee Satisfaction Surge!   
  • Speaking Schedule
  • Resources
  • What's New
  • About Red Ladder

Today's poll ...

Which of the following best describes...

Take this month's short poll.

What's New ...

May 1, 2008

Regina Barr quoted in NorthWestern Financial Review magazine article, Bankers Promote the "Softer" Side of Affinity Marketing. Regina addressed the topic of marketing to Boomers based on five Boomer priorities: personal, financial, nesting, enjoyment and experiences. 

April 25, 2008

Regina Barr quoted in the Long Island Business News article, The Art of Patience.

Speaking Schedule ...

June 13, 2008, Financial Women International, See Jane Lead, Tupelo, MS

July 9, 2008, IABC MN Dial Up Your Career, Leading When You're NOT the Boss, TeleSeminar

September 10, 2008, IABC MN Dial Up Your Career Series, Expect the Unexpected: How to Think On Your Feet Without Getting Knocked Over, TeleSeminar

November 12, 2008, IABC MN Dial Up Your Career Series, Inflate Your Success, TeleSeminar

Interested in having Regina speak at your next event or present a seminar or workshop? Contact us at:


Resources ...

1.  ODsurveys Plus™: Want to get a handle on employee attitudes or the workplace climate? Use our off the shelf survey or customize one to meet the specific needs of your organization. This information can be an important tool in developing goals and action plans for your company. Contact us at or 651-453-1007 to learn more.

2.  Professional Fitness Series™:  Red Ladder recently launched the first three programs in the Professional Fitness series designed to help companies train their employees on critical leadership competencies as identified in the The Leadership Gap Study. These include: Problem Solving & Decision Making, Initiative and Risk Taking, and Delivering High Quality Results. For more information, email us at



Copyright 2008 Regina Barr, Red Ladder, Inc. Professional Fitness is a trademark of Red Ladder, Inc.
All rights reserved.

 www.redladder.com | info@redladder.com | 651-453-1007 | Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076