I was having a discussion with someone this week about how outdated many University courses are. Some Marketing degrees for example still reference MySpace in their social media components.
Unfortunately, the same goes for many business courses that still encourage the command and control approach to management.
The difference, however, is there are still organisations that don’t know there are more effective ways and stumble around in their own shadows. Liz Ryan in 2016 when writing for Forbes said it best “Command-and-control management is still popular with dinosaur companies whose market share dwindles every day“.
What sort of business do you want to be remembered for? Chances are if you get a blank stare when discussing management styles, they might not know there are different choices.
According to Vicky and Martin Webster from Leadership Changes, Command and Control leadership is impotent (not important).
Specifically, Command and control is ineffective because it:
- limits engagement and commitment,
- inhibits communication,
- obstructs course correction, and
- Assumes the leader knows best.
If you have ever had issues with scaling your business, chances are it is because you are holding on too tightly and want everything to go exactly as you (and only you) could envisage. Something clients used to tell me is “I don’t feel anyone else could do the job to the level I can!”.
Here are the top 4 reasons people leave an organisation run by a dictat… err, command and control management:
- not being treated with respect or dignity,
- being prevented from making an impact on the organisation,
- not being listened to, and
- not being rewarded with more responsibility.
So if not command and control, then what?
What if the way you are doing the job is the reason you aren’t getting to that next level? What if that other person could consider something that once implemented, 10x’d your results? What if you don’t actually have all the answers and you consider what accepting that might look like?
What I’m alluding to in the above questions is to start by being willing to accept you are not omnipotent. Like most people on this planet, you are human. Leadership is not about barking orders at people (and if you think it is, you are seriously out of touch with contemporary business). You need to be willing to realise that there is immense value in others, especially the synergistic team environment. That very person you haven’t let demonstrate their value may end up being the biggest gamechanger you had right in front of you the whole time.
The alternative is you white-knuckle that very thing you love… right into an early grave where everyone instead remembers you as a control freak that couldn’t see beyond their own limits…
If you surround yourself with people who only know how to say “Yes”, don’t expect a tremendous deal of creativity, innovation, or results.
I know which I’d prefer.
I’ll leave you with an interesting infographic from a small company called IBM. Although it is 6 years old, note that it identified the push toward collaborative team environments. Here’s a hint, there is no room for collaboration with a command and control management.
Want to know whether you are a command and control leader? Stay tuned as I’ll be releasing a new quiz shortly.