Dr. Denis Waitley in his book “The Dragon and the Eagle,” shares his insights on the topic of empowerment versus entitlement. The book is a …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
Dr. Denis Waitley in his book “The Dragon and the Eagle,” shares
his insights on the topic of empowerment versus entitlement. The
book is a wonderful contrast between the Chinese culture, “The
Dragon,” and the United States culture, “The Eagle” and how the two
are similar, yet different in many ways.
The point he makes is that here in the United States we have
moved from empowerment to entitlement, where as in the Chinese
culture he views their people moving from entitlement to one of
In thinking about this, I started to remember all of the ways
that I contributed personally to the “entitlement” attitudes of my
own children. Sometimes I would help more on homework and projects
instead of patiently providing guidance and direction. But you see
I was in a rush, I had more important things to do. What did I
create, learned helplessness, no I created entitlement.
I defended my children in too many situations, seeking special
favors and making irrational requests in the spirit of competing
with the other parents and children. In hindsight it was a huge
mistake. I grew up in a ‘nobody handed me nothin’ environment. But
I believe this was my greatest asset as I had to learn on my own,
work for what I wanted, and become empowered in my personal pursuit
Fast forward to our business lives. Because it is not just our
children who seem to feel entitled, there are grown-ups, business
men and women who are also afflicted with the entitlement disease.
And how many of us are causing this, doing the same thing for the
people who work for us as we do or did for our children? Do we find
it easier to just do the job ourselves because it will be done
right, on time, and under budget? Is it less stressful for us to
just ‘do it for them’ instead of taking the time to teach, coach
and mentor? Guilty as charged here. I have made that mistake too
over my career, but thankfully have slowly started changing my
ways. Delegation has become my mantra.
If we are going to make the move, moving from entitlement back
to empowerment we have to practice patience, tolerance and
School will start soon, most vacations for the working folks
will end, and within a few short months the tourist season will hit
the high country. Now is the perfect time to stop all or at least
most of our “doing” for our children or our co-workers, employees,
or sometimes even our bosses. Let’s step away from creating learned
helplessness and learned incompetence by becoming really, really
good at sharing our knowledge and expertise in a way that will
empower all of those around us without jumping in to do it for
Are you feeling entitled or empowered? I would love to hear your
thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s make it a better than
Michael Norton, a resident of Highlands Ranch, is the former
President of the Zig Ziglar organization and CEO and Founder of
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.