EXCELLENCE is a beginning point INTEGRITY is at the core of our decision making and actions EMPOWERMENT with accountability makes better decisions COLLABORATION leverages the best in everyone BALANCE gives us fuel to do our best STEWARDSHIP ensures a future CARING for each other is what holds us together Empowerment is a complicated word. With “power” at the root, empowerment may imply an unbalanced dynamic, or a transaction between someone who has power and someone who doesn’t. A more nuanced interpretation of the word is more useful: empowerment is really the process of helping someone to access their own power and potential. Rather than a zero-sum proposition in which one person must cede power for another to gain it, real empowerment is about nurturing and releasing the capacity of each of us to thrive and contribute. When we empower those around us, we all benefit. Leaders bear the responsibility for setting their team members up for success. The first step is to provide a clear vision- direction, goals, expectations, and timeframe. A leader must also provide the right resources in terms of tools, training, information, and a supportive atmosphere. Pairing team members who have complementary skills can help them advance together through shared experience and expertise as they navigate a project. Along the way, leaders provide ongoing coaching to support the team members in their development and challenge them appropriately. On a successful team, empowerment is bookended by accountability. This word also carries a bit of baggage, but true accountability isn’t about performance or being monitored – it’s about each team member accepting personal responsibility. Accountability starts with the small things: being on time for a meeting, following through on a task without being reminded, and communicating early and often. Accountability shows respect for the team and the project: when we demonstrate that we care about our colleagues by being diligent in our day-to-day responsibilities, we create better outcomes and set ourselves up for a better “tomorrow.” Team members bear the responsibility for focusing on a collective goal, and working to achieve it together. The best teams support one another, invest in each other’s well-being and growth, and progress together. Authentic communication helps to manage expectations, develop shared working practices, and hold each other accountable. Engaged team members will use curiosity to advance the work, ask questions, offer solutions, experiment, and readjust. People have an amazing capacity to do good. Empowerment creates a system in which people can realize the potential of their unique capacities, and accountability helps people build trust to achieve multifold potential together. Success requires investment from both leaders and team members, as the leader provides vision, support, and resources and the team executes the vision through togetherness, shared ownership, celebration, and development. Empowerment and accountability create interconnected reliability, and become the catalyst by which individuals contribute their best to achieve collective excellence. About Megan Principal Megan Bowles serves as Operations and Finance Manager in LS3P’s Raleigh office. In this role, she focuses on continuous improvement of Raleigh office processes, including professional development opportunities, project delivery, and market sector growth. A magna cum laude graduate of NC State University’s College of Design, Megan also leads the office’s corporate commercial team and works extensively in the faith-based practice area. Her diverse portfolio includes over one million SF of core and shell construction, and over 500,000 SF of large interior upfits within those spaces for commercial clients. Megan’s commitment to professional and community outreach includes her current service on the AIA NC Board as Director of Membership, her leadership as an ACE Mentor and Board Member, and her role as Advisor for AIA Triangle’s Leadership Forum.