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Simmons CEO Says Employee Empowerment Yields Company Success

eitel.jpgBOONE — Empower your employees and your business will succeed, says Charles R. Eitel, chairman and chief executive officer of the Simmons Company.

Eitel spoke at the Harlan E. Boyles Distinguished CEO Lecture Series at Appalachian State University. The series is sponsored by Appalachian’s Walker College of Business and named for North Carolina’s state treasurer.”Empowerment is the essence of leadership,” Eitel said.

Eitel says managers can empower others by being available, approachable and accountable to every associate in a company. “I call this style of management ‘getting out of the fishbowl’,” he said.

“True leaders spend their energies mentoring other leaders. If you aren’t in the action, you may as well be a figurehead.”

Consensus on company goals and priorities, followed by commitment to those goals, is critical for empowerment to succeed. “We can’t be everything to everyone -