Creating Environments That Uphold and Empower Us

Many people show up to work on time, do what they are supposed to do, and do their jobs without any real growth. When this happens it can create a very discouraging work environment. It seems that companies have hit a flat level in their growth period when everything is status quo. It comes to a point of motivation. In this post, the work culture is discussed. It’s about inspiring others under one’s leadership. For the follower to reach above their current level of existence is a difficult thing to accomplish. In order for a leader to achieve that level they must see the big picture. It consists of what they want their work culture to look like that. To do that though, they must first study their work place.

Growing is not based on any principle that resembles a machine. People are living organisms and must be treated as so. The leader must recognize some obstacles that might be blocking growth. For example: there may be a lack of leadership trust that needs to be addressed. An attitude of grace may need to be applied to the current situation.

To explain the grace factor, the authors introduce and illustrate it appropriately. This ladder is structured with grace. On one side there is the environments of grace and on the other side there is relationships of grace (p. 32). The work culture is a result of the people who create it and live there. People are linked together through relationships. They are interdependent upon each other. This happens when the leadership makes a choice to climb The Character Ladder (p. 32). Making this choice to climb it encourages common respect of others.

It was difficult to narrow this chapter down. There is a huge amount of important information between chapters two and four and could have been broken down into two chapters. This has been the most important chapter so far. I might even goes as far as to say it might be one of the most important chapters in this book because it requires the most change in a person’s leadership style. It gets the reader thinking about and changing their current paradigm of how they look at leadership.

I have learned that I need to pay more attention to my character rather than my capacities.


Thrall, Bill, McNicol, Bruce and Ken McElrath. The Ascent of a Leader: How Ordinary Relationships Develop Extraordinary Character and Influence. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999.


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