Our third core value at JHA is “Empowered with Process.” We live this out by giving authority to our people to make decisions in the moment that will result in the highest level of service to the people we serve. Empowerment without process can create chaos, so we continually strive to develop and document the processes that help us operate efficiently as a team. This idea was instilled in me by my father who gave me a great deal of responsibility at a young age working on our dairy farm.

American football teams all have playbooks. The best teams run plays from their playbooks but give their quarterback the freedom to call an audible at the line of scrimmage. They have freedom to change the play in the moment depending on the defensive formation they face. That decision happens quickly at the line of scrimmage just before the ball is hiked into play. I believe that our leaders need to have the same freedom to call an audible when necessary.

I have also compared empowerment with process to driving on a highway. Multiple lanes give drivers the freedom to choose where to travel with the protection of guide rails, medians, and traffic laws (i.e. processes). I believe our leaders need to have the same freedom to change lanes, when necessary, within the framework of the processes that prevent chaos on the roads.

The outcomes of living out this core value each day at JHA has been so very instrumental. The seven outcomes which empower our people that come to mind are:


We communicate to them that we believe in them and trust them. The processes provide support and guidance that they can depend on.


We encourage our leaders to delegate decision making responsibility to all levels of the organization.


Project teams can make the best decision for their client through innovative problem-solving strategies.


We encourage them to think and act like a owner of the projects they run like their own business.


We are giving permission to imagine new ways of doing things within their disciplines.


We create an environment that maximizes growth and professional development while viewing mistakes as learning opportunities.


People on our team are free to ask for the processes that they need the most to operate efficiently.

As the founder of JHA, I have the privilege and joy of leading a highly empowered team. Each day I get to work with a group of satisfied and engaged people who are willing to work hard for our clients and their teams. The outcomes are powerful and undeniably effective in creating a culture that is positively contagious, and one that clients notice and benefit the most from as we serve them.

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