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Zapp! The Lightning Of Empowerment: How To Improve Quality, Productivity, And Employee Satisfaction

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3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  607 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Most managers know that revitalization in their companies must occur from the ground up. But how to get that message to employees without applying the kind of pressure that makes them even less productive? The answer is empowerment. In this motivating book, you will find specific strategies designed to help you encourage responsibility, acknowledgment, and creativity so th ...more
Hardcover, 197 pages
Published November 11th 1997 by Ballantine Books (first published 1988)
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Books Ring Mah Bell
Jun 08, 2010 Books Ring Mah Bell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poop
Good Lord. See, this is why I left my job as supervisor. Well, not this book, specifically, but the higher up folk that pawn these types of books onto me, stating they were mind-blowing. More corporate feel good crap. I shared it with the team of people I worked with, and we walked around for a few months, yelling, "ZZZZZZZZZZZZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPPPPP" really loudly at inappropriate times.
Hmmmmm. That did build our team morale.

All this stuff seems the same to me: a basic understanding of
...more
Jenny
Dec 22, 2008 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun management book that is written in the form of a fable. The format is concise and easy to read,which is a bonus for busy people striving to make things better. If you are a manager or supervisor who is interested in nurturing positive working environments, increasing collaboration and collegiality and improving productivity, this book is for you.

I found that many of the factors of managerial success rely on emotional intelligence--active listening, showing empathy, providing since
...more
Wouter
Jan 22, 2015 Wouter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very amusing and quick read, was able to finish this in two days (good, nothing more to say, summarized on one page in my notebook). I did not really learn anything new, but it is interesting to note I read other books on the subject which are much more recent than this one - looking at the original print date. Reading about empowerment makes me want to ZAPP colleagues tomorrow.
I've also found resemblances with "be humble & honest" - mindful listening techniques also found in for instance "
...more
Elyse
May 01, 2010 Elyse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Principles that can be applied to any aspect of life.
Sehar  Moughal
Aug 14, 2014 Sehar Moughal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this book when I was 14. How did I stumble upon this book, one may ask. It was my father's doing. He had a work project due based on the content of this book and wanted me to do it. I am glad he gave me the opportunity to understand team empowerment and relationship dynamics at such a tender age. I had known the concepts zapp vs sapp before reading the book, however, I was fascinated by the terminology and the application esp at an organisational level. He received a B+ on his ...more
Joe Robles
This book has some great tips on being a better leader, but the presentation is why it gets two stars. The book is written in this insipid fairy tale/sci fi type style. If I had taken management courses at UT and been asked to read this, I would have quit the very next day. The book seems to insult my intelligence. Like I couldn't grasp the concepts of what it takes to be a better leader if it were written in regular non-fiction expository style. NO, I am of such low intelligence I need it writt ...more
Venkataraman Kumbakonam S.
This book is a very good effort to help all, especially organizational managers, understand the concept and implementation of Empowerment. It has been well explained how many other well-meaning steps would fail to serve their purposes in the absence of proper empowerment.

Dr. William C. Byham, the author deserves any praise for having thought of the story-telling method to impart lessons on this subject. He takes us step by step on how to bring about a full-fledged empowerment structure and how
...more
Angela Nicole
Apr 13, 2014 Angela Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I read this after getting a recommendation from a co-worker. I really liked it! It was a quick read, set in a parable format where generically named office characters learn the difference between "zap" and "sap" in order to empower their employees and energize their businesses.

It's a little corny, but for a newbie to the managerial stuff, I found it helpful :)
Ams78
Jul 26, 2015 Ams78 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. Terrible writing that distracted me from the actual important information, although most of said information is common sense. We were encouraged to read this at my job, but I'm not sure why, since my company definitely doesn't follow these tenets. I found it to be a bit childish and over the top.
Davede
Aug 10, 2015 Davede rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat silly in places, but gives very good advice; I can see this being a book I will refer back to often for many years to come. While the fantasy setting was off-putting at first, I find that the book's concepts are easier to remember this way.
Eva
May 24, 2011 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a brilliantly simple yet thoroughly insightful little book! It was recommended to me by an advisor and I quickly breezed through it in one sitting. His suggestion was to share it with others who were in the midsts of a managerial experience as the book is better understood with some real world data to relate it to.

I was happy to see that although the messages were seemingly very simplistic, Byham did not color what will in fact be a difficult paradigm shift within an organization. Amiss al
...more
Tiffani Hurt
Jan 17, 2015 Tiffani Hurt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read on participative management. I loved the approach this author took. Great!
Stephanie
Work read! Simple read about employee empowerment..........lots of good points!
Melanie
A reminder, nothing new, about empowering the people you work with.
David Robillard
Oct 07, 2014 David Robillard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book for managers. If you manage people, then please read this. It's fun and you learn stuff. Even if you don't learn, it's still fun :)
Julie
Feb 03, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Julie by: Management Skills class
Told in story form, a quick, easy, entertaining read that illustrates how to empower people.
Michael Nelson
Jul 15, 2014 Michael Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
Give them the tools, and then get out of their way!
Angela
Jan 11, 2015 Angela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The writing style was too silly to be taken seriously.
Alison
Nov 29, 2011 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this to give me some tips on how to empower others in the workplace. The book is written in the style of a novel or a story and it is somewhat naff but it works! The "characters" were easily recognisable as personality types or those reflecting a particular set of behaviours common in a disempowered work environment. I actually enjoyed reading this and came away with some great tips on how to lead people to change and drive their own work environment.
Greg
A business allegory, written to describe, promote, and teach the "hows" of employee empowerment. It is an entertaining read, though lightweight. It focuses almost exclusively on the positive outcomes of employee empowerment, ignoring the challenges and downsides that make it so difficult to implement fully. Nonetheless, it may serve for some as a motivating force to dig deeper into the whys and wherefores of empowerment, and to that extent it is useful.
Rick Thomas
Sep 21, 2012 Rick Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-eclectic-pm
I found this book engaging and motivating. It's short, happy, and thought provoking. The simple fantasy premise is a great springboard for deeper reflection on what work can be.
The story is upbeat and positive, and, while simplifying situations, it is neither naive nor understated in its message that organizations able to spark employee engagement and empowerment will outperform those with tight command and control structures.
Geoffrey Morris


It has its value in being a narrative that introduces the reader to the value of empowerment. It's also terribly hokey and uneven: from about 60-75% through it loses focus in telling a story and just has the story say virtually the same things that Joe's notebook has for you.

Could you cover this material in a three-hour seminar? Damn straight, but you'd pay 50x what you'll pay for this book.
John
Dec 13, 2011 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A book on empowering staff and people. How to get your staff (or others) more motivated and into what they're doing. Basically, empowerment.

It's presented in an easy-to-follow, readable way. It's presented a bit like a fairytale but if you're in a rush to get all the main points there are boxes which have those.

Worth a read if you're interested in empowering others.
Miguel Manzanares
Jul 08, 2013 Miguel Manzanares rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Si no te molestan las analogías demasiado fantasiosas, este libro está lleno de conceptos acerca de cómo delegar actividades de manera que la persona/grupo que las recibe las tome como propias y se auto-motive en el cumplimiento de las mismas.

Da un panorama general, pero bastante completo, de cómo dirigir un departamento/empresa y de la función de un líder en ellos.
Ken
May 13, 2011 Ken rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a bad book that uses a fictional story to get the message out that managers, can't just manage staff unless they want mediocore results. You must be a leader and that normaly means that you need to build capacity in your staff and trust that they can and will do what is best. By empowering staff, they become invested in the results and success of the mission.
Jason
Oct 03, 2011 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
AWESOME. need I say more? OK I will. Told from a fable point of view, this book tells how a manager learned to make his department better and in turn made his company better. While reading this book I realized that I wasa like the manager in the book. I am so thankful that I was assigned to read this book in one of my classes.
Dee
Feb 23, 2008 Dee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
We were required to read this for work, and it was utterly awful. 99% of the book had little application to my particular job, and I still say that kai-zen management techniques cannot work in America because we are culturally different than Japan (not better, not worse, just different). Not recommended.
Beth
Jun 09, 2012 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was written as a fable. Gives good advice for empowering yourself and others. Through out the book they have quick points, I just wish they consolidated the points in an appendix at the end or even showed the model written out and discussed.
Alyssa
Feb 01, 2013 Alyssa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: textbooks, fiction
I had to read this book for a leadership class. Unlike most leadership books, this book is put together in a story form. It has characters, a plot, and action all while instructing on how to be a better leader.I was able to finish this book in 2 days.
Satia
Dec 27, 2009 Satia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Giving business advice through parables seems "the thing to do" and this book has been around a while. There's a good reason why it hasn't already come and gone. For a full review:

http://satia.blogspot.com/2009/12/zap...
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Bill Byham is Founder and Executive Chairman of Development Dimensions International (DDI), an internationally renowned human resource training and consulting company. An Industrial/Organization Psychologist, Bill has developed many significant human resource technologies over the course of his career. These innovations include the assessment center method, behavior-based interviewing, the use of ...more
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