Responses to 2 discussion question 200 words per (subject is organizational leadership)

I’m working on a Law question and need guidance to help me study.

Respond to both discussion post #200 per post.

Discussion Post #1

Based on the readings found in Chapter 3 in the text, and the supplemental papers provided, how would you define discretionary effort in your workplace?

Discussion Post #2

Go to and identify an organization that is utilizing discretionary effort to engage their associate’s performance behaviors. Cite the advantages to the organization. The referenced LinkedIn Blog in the syllabus serves as an example of what you should be looking for.

Course Referneces:


Once leaders understand power and how it works, they are able to see a higher degree of commitment in their workers through discretionary effort. When someone “wants” to do something, rather than being “made” to do it, then he or she will be willing to do much more than the minimum. In the highly competitive and fast–changing environment of business today, discretionary effort on the part of employees can make or break a company. It is critical that leaders not only get high productivity from their workers, but also tap into the workers’ discretionary effort to achieve maximum performance.

In Unlock Behavior, Unleash Profits, Leslie Braksick describes discretionary effort in the following way on page 19:

“Discretionary effort can best be described as the extra level of performance people (could) give when they want to do something as opposed to when they feel like they have to do something. People often refer to this as the difference between commitment (doing it because we want to) and compliance (doing it because we have to…or else!).

Behaviorally speaking, discretionary performance will occur only when (the desired) behavior is positively reinforced. Positive reinforcement can come from sources internal to the person (we call that intrinsic motivation) as well as from the environment surrounding him or her. If people do only enough to avoid experiencing negative consequences, discretionary performance will not occur.”

Engagement on the part of employees is integral to creating discretionary effort. Most companies today have some disengaged employees – sometimes to an extent that is incompatible with the viability of the organization. Engagement is not something that just happens in a company, and it is not just based on something as simple as pay. Leaders need to see their people having a stake in the outcome of the endeavor and seek their input. Being able to find synergy between the person and the organization can have tremendous results for the bottom line.

One of the best ways to recognize and measure discretionary effort and engagement in others is to learn how to measure it in your own work. As you begin to see the correlation between your personal goals and the goals of your company, you will understand how this works in those you lead. As always, you first have to understand how the change process works in yourself before you can implement it with others.


Braksick, L. W. (2000). Unlock behavior, unleash profits: How your leadership behavior can unlock the profitability of your organization. New York: McGraw–Hill.

Learning Objectives

When you complete this week, you should be able to:

Explain the different motivational drivers that cause discretionary effort in a workforce.

Corresponding Course Outcome 4

Corresponding demonstration of learning includes successfully completing the assigned Week 3 Discussion Forum Questions

Evaluate your personal discretionary effort based on how many values you share with your company.

Corresponding Course Outcome 4

Corresponding demonstration of learning includes successfully completing the assigned Week 3 Discussion Forum Questions

Create a Personal Balanced Scorecard Inventory.

Corresponding Course Outcome 4

Corresponding demonstration of learning includes successfully completing the assigned Week 3 Writing Assignment

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Readings and Research

Refer to your syllabus for details on your readings for this week.

This Week’s Reading Highlights

(Select each tab to view detail)

Chapter 3 – Above & Beyond: Discretionary Effort(DE)

For so many years I didn’t realize how significant discretionary effort (DE) was to a leader’s success. The only way any leader can accomplish anything of significance through their followers is to recognize that it’s their followers who “vote” for them with their contributed actions and behaviors. Simply stated, no followers = no leader.

Critical chapter highlights:

Page 17 – great comment, “The most difficult task of the leader is keeping followers focused rather than keeping them motivated.” Performance should always be elevated over conformity.

Page 18 – Discretionary behavior is the product of positive reinforcement, never of punishment. That leads me to ask, how well do effective leaders build their associate’s positive reinforcement into the routine course of their day?

Page 19 – Corporate layering always produce paradigms and filters. A true leader will ensure that corporate policies and operating procedures are clearly understood by their followers.

Fielder, Robin (October 2006). How to unlock discretionary effort. People Management.

This is a short, but dead–on article. It’s all about the seven ways to unlock discretionary effort in your associates. Also look at the eight key points. Personally, my greatest discretionary challenge is point four of seven, and point two of eight. More later this week as we get into discussion.

LinkedIn Blog: The Value of Discretionary Effort (2015)

Harnessing the value of Discretionary Effort comes as the result of knowing your staff and understanding/reinforcing those things that are important to them. It’s about earning their trust well enough so that they become committed to supporting organizational success.

Braksick, L, (2000). Discretionary Effort. Unlock Behavior, Unleash Profits, McGraw–Hill.

Discretionary effort can best be described as the extra level of performance people (could) give when they want to do something as opposed to when they feel like they have to something.

Buschang, H. (2017). Harnessing Discretionary Performance. HGB Associates.

Leaders of high performing organizations embody a consistent, systematic way to help people understand how what they do on a day–to–day basis contributes to the success of the organization. They ensure that people have the necessary abilities, skills and knowledge and remove real (and perceived) barriers to success.

Rampersad, Hubert K. (January/February 2008). The way to a highly engaged and happy workforce based on the Personal Balanced Scorecard. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence.

This article focuses exclusively on the leader’s Personal Balanced Scorecard, the company’s Organizational Balanced Scorecard, and then helps the leader look for either congruence or dissonance between the two. I would like to use this article to focus this week’s WA on, as it has everything to do with exposing our strengths as a leader, as well as arming us with a personal strategy – going forward.

Video: Richard Hadden, Speaking Video. Co–author, Contented Cows Give Better Milk

Creating a best place to work is one of the best things you can do for your bottom line

Businesses that are a great place to work will have a more focused and productive workforce, outperforming their competitors, 10 to 1

Satisfied employees give better performances

The organizational ROI derived from treating people well are many;

Pro–active organizations grow faster, they have lower turnover, they are more productive and they produce more jobs in the long run

The first 60 days of a new associate’s training is, by far, the most critical. Retain them for the first 60 days and chances of retaining them for the next 4 years goes up 250%. Learn how to “re–recruite” your employees.

“If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn” – Charlie Parker

What are your company’s top 3 business priorities, and can your associates name them?

Video: Richard Hadden, Co–author, Contented Cows Still Give Better Milk

Richard Hadden defines and explains the concept of “Discretionary Effort” – that increment of human effort whose expenditure is solely at the discretion of the worker, and how it relates to employee engagement.


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