Reading for Empowerment

  • The Art ofMedical Leadership by Suzan Oran & Scott Conard, MD with Nicole Oran
  • The Three Laws of Performance by Steve Zaffron & Dave Logan
  • Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra
  • You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
  • Conscious Business by Fred Kofman
  • The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander
  • A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer
  • Loving What Is by Byron Katie
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  • The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz
  • Multipliers (How The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter) by Liz Wiseman

Help! I Keep Getting Interrupted!

Feel free to copy and paste this empowerment process 🙂  Suzan Oran

Design “Uninterruptible Time”

Increase your effectiveness when working on projects!

Benefit: This allows you to have laser focus on your project without distractions for a set period of time.  You will be getting more done in less time.

Each time you are distracted from something that requires a lot of focus, there is a time delay to regain that full focus and creativity.  This can add up to a lot of time not well used plus increased frustration.

Design:  Well designed uninterruptible time will not be a burden for your coworkers or add more to your To Do List.  First, determine which projects will benefit from uninterruptible time.  Select the appropriate number of hours per week that fit with your job (30 – 90 minute time slots.  90 minutes maximum for best focus).  Then determine which days and what time of day will be least inconvenient for your coworkers and have the least number of return calls for you to make at the end.  Schedule it on your calendar.

Set Up: Notify the people that would usually be in contact with you during the times you selected.  Let them know that you want to give them your full attention when you talk and that you will now be using these time slots to specifically work on projects that will benefit from intense focus.

Ask them to please support you by contacting you before or after that time slot unless there is something urgent.  (Very important to do this in an empowering way.  If you do this in such a way that people feel you are pulling away or not in support of them you will create conflict plus make more work for yourself.)

Making It Stick:  This is crucial! It is up to you to have this tool work for you (not waiting for others to cooperate).  If you have a door – close it.

I look forward to talking with you then.”  Of course, if it is urgent take care of the situation.  If not, refocus on your project.  It may take a few times doing this to support your coworkers in adjusting to this new system.  Also, on occasion you may need to reschedule your uninterruptible time when a higher priority item needs your attention.  If this happens, don’t throw in the towel on this tool – just reschedule your uninterruptible time and get back on track.

Support: I encourage all of us to support others when they are using uninterruptible time to maximize their focus and creativity on their projects. Discipline yourself to now only work on that project.  Do not check emails – turn your computer screen around or off.  If someone knocks on your door and asks if you have a minute, say very nicely “I’m working on my project, is this truly urgent?  If not, I will be fully available at ___ time.

Suzan Oran and Associates

Brainstorming Method

Feel free to copy and paste this empowerment process 🙂  Suzan Oran


Do you make the mistake of trying to problem solve solo?

Many executives would say that part of their job is to solve the problems in their departments or companies.  That may be true, however, for a variety of reasons the least effective way to do that is to problem solve solo.

The most effective way is to gather your team and have a Brainstorming Session.  You will not only have a wealth of creative ideas to choose from in making your decision on how to go forward, you will have empowered your employees to be creative thinkers, demonstrated that each employee can make a difference in the company beyond their day-to-day work, increased the likelihood that your employees will embrace the changes that are implemented and strengthened everyone working together as a team.  That’s a lot of value for one meeting!


A. Schedule a meeting (or designate a section of a meeting) specifically for the Brainstorming Process  (30 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the challenge and the size of the group).

B. Select an area of the business or a current challenge in which you would like to have a breakthrough.  Have a very clear and simple focus area and list it at the top of the flip chart.

C. Review the rules listed below with the entire group.  Request that everyone follow the rules.

D. Ask the group this question over and over while someone else is writing each answer on the flipchart:

asdfasd“What ideas do you have that could possibly make a positive impact on …….. (the selected challenge)?”

E. When all ideas are “emptied out” onto paper – acknowledge everyone for their great ideas.

F. Have the list of ideas typed and distributed to the group.

G. Have a second meeting to review the ideas and determine which ideas fit into the budget, timeline of other projects and are most likely to make the difference you want to have made.

H. Create an “Action Grid” where you list who will do what by when to create the breakthrough (also known   as a “conversation for opportunity”).  Have one person be the “owner” of this Action Grid.

I. Provide regular updates to the group.  Follow through on each items listed on the Action Grid until it is successfully completed or declared canceled.


  1. Let everyone know that it is safe to speculate “outside the nine dots”.  There are no possible wrong answers.    …(Extreme example:  if someone says “let’s all fly to the moon” – you say “very good – let’s put that on the list”.)
  2. No discussion, decisions or commitments until all ideas are presented
  3. No comments that discount or diminish anyone’s ideas – such as “that won’t work” or “that’s not in the budget” …or we tried that before”, etc…
  4. Shift conversations that make people or situations wrong (possibilities aren’t right or wrong)
  5. One person speaking at a time – make sure all ideas are added to the list
  6. Acknowledge everyone at the end for their creative contribution
  7. Review the list of ideas and discuss further to gain full insight into the ideas
  8. Prioritize and list the appropriate items on an “Action Grid” to move forward
Suzan Oran and Associates