The Fork Model: How to Empower Others

I recently learned about the Fork Model. My mentor sent me the web address and said it might be of interest. Enjoy this excerpt from the home page:

“The ultimate purpose of helping clients is not only that clients’ goals are reached or their problems solved, but that they become empowered citizens and cultural creatives.”

One part of my vision is to enable and empower clients so they can in turn impact others in the organization, expanding the influence of correct principles to more people so better quality work will be seen in all departments.

There are four parts to the Fork Model:

  1. Self-guidance
  2. Goal-oriented project
  3. Identity and personal development
  4. Development of the whole to which you belong

How can we use these principles when advising others?

Passionate Leadership

I read an article today by Erika Andersen on Forbes.com entitled, “Passionate Leaders Aren’t Loud – They’re Deep.” Andersen discusses great leadership as not loud speechmaking, but something deeper, in six qualities. Passionate leaders are:

  • Honest and genuine
  • Clear and powerful, yet respectful
  • Open to others’ points of view
  • Walking their talk
  • Committed despite adversity and setbacks

The the most important principle Andersen brings up is purpose. “What a leader is passionate,” she says, “people feel a deep sense of being led in a worthy direction by someone who is committed to something more important than his or her own individual glory.”

Purpose

“Successful companies keep this idea front and center: People seek purpose.” – Rich Karlgaard, Forbes.com, “Purpose-Driven Leadership

In the same Forbes article, Karlgaard lists two examples of why purpose is so important:

“Abraham Maslow had it right. Once our physical needs are met, we long for love, belonging, esteem and finally what Maslow called ‘self-actualization’–that our lives count.”

I seek for purpose in my work. I don’t want just to “get tasks done.” I want to make a difference, meaning a great positive impact, in the world.

Leadership

I’m reading the article 6 Things Really Powerful Leaders Do, which obviously talks about leadership and principles by which leaders should live. One, “Be generous to your tribe,” outlines a few ways to be generous to those whom you hope to influence:

  • Share your learnings along the way
  • Include them in the process
  • Show gratitude
  • Give recognition
  • Encourage
  • Work synergistically

“Doing” vs. “Being” a Good Leader

My mentor sent me an article on the subject of leadership. I found it helpful as I think of myself as a leader. An individual can be a leader without being a manager. The article talks about asking yourself:

  • 5-7-10: where was I when I was 5 years old? What was I doing 7 years ago? Where do I want to be in 10 years?
  • What do you want to be in ten years? Be ≠ president of the company, retired, spending more time with activity X.

Once you realize that “being” a good leader is different from “doing” your job well, live by the following principles:

  • understand yourself
  • understand your context
  • be fully present with a person and understand their needs and concerns; put away your smartphone and turn away from your computer when you meet with others

Leadership is a lot about the other person, but it’s also about yourself. It’s neither one nor the other alone. It makes sense: the title “leader” is a relational term. You can’t be a leader if you’re not leading anyone.

For example, I always catered to everyone’s “needs,” saying yes to every request and burning myself out. I was focused on the people I was leading and their needs, but I had left out the leadership part of my role (me and the cohesive identity of “being” I want for myself), so I was just being thrown about by the many voiced needs of my colleagues. What I needed to do was clearly define how I want to be as a leader and how that helps people most, and then control my own schedule for achieving that.