Is Autocratic Management Stifling Passion in Your Company?


Many companies undertook a more authoritarian management style to better weather the economic pressures of the recent downturn.  Now that the economy is showing signs of improvement, it’s time to loosen the reins and invite creativity and passion to fuel us toward greater productivity and accomplishment.

The table below compares the old command and control style management to a leadership style that ignites passion by leading people toward a common goal rather than enforcing compliance to top-down edicts.

Symptoms of an Autocratic Organization Evolved Behaviours Seen in High-Performance Organizations
  • Communication is generally downward.  Feedback is either not sought, or is invited only at certain times of the year.
  • Regularly initiate upward communication streams; encourage a fresh stream of new ideas.
  • Conflicting viewpoints are met with sarcasm or disrespect.  This keeps the autocracy intact by teaching others to refrain wherever possible.
  • Grow and mentor the organization’s emotional intelligence (EQ) and leadership quotient by inviting respectful debate and disagreement.
  • Tell the rank and file they are concentrating on the wrong things if they are coming up with new ideas.  Innovation is guarded by a small group of people.
  • Identify areas where more authority can be shared.  Make it ok to make mistakes – even celebrate mistakes as attempts at innovation.

Recommended reading:  Jack Welch and the 4E’s of Leadership (Jeffrey A. Krames)

Execution – The Discipline of Getting Things Done (Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan)

Good to Great (Jim Collins)

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