The Empowerment Button

photo by PhotoGraham

This brief excerpt is from a phenomenal book I read titled, The New Breed. This book is all about looking at the “new breed” of volunteer and how we work with these volunteers.

This excerpt speaks to the importance of creating a culture of empowerment in our ministries.

“In their book A Passion for Excellence, Tom Peters and Nancy Austin tell of an experiment where people in group ‘A’ received puzzles to solve and some boring proofreading to do. While they did these two tasks, an audiotape played in the background – the sound included a person speaking Spanish, two people speaking Armenian, a running mimeograph machine, a noisy typewriter, and some street noise.

“Another group, group ‘B,’ received the same projects and listened to the same tape. However, they also received a button they could push to suppress the noise. The group with the buttons to push solved five times as many puzzles and made just one-fourth of the proofreading errors as those who had no button.

“Sure, you might be thinking, it was all that stinking noise!

“Guess again. Amazingly, those who could push the button never pushed it once! The mere fact that they could push the button made the difference. They possessed the power of ownership.” –pg. 81

 

How do you develop a culture of empowerment with your ministry team? What “buttons” do they have the power to press?

 

 

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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