Command and Control (a leadership anti-pattern)

I’m not sure about others, but in my career, there has been no debate about the use of the “command and control” leadership style. It’s just bad. More than bad, it’s completely ineffective when the intended outcome is lasting, cultural change and commitment.

Have you ever witnessed an attitude of “chest-puffed” dominance that some leaders hold when it comes to leading others.

“I don’t want to have long winded discussion on this. This is how it’s gonna be!”

“If we just force them to do it, we will get results!”.

Yes. You will get results, but I doubt the kind you intend.

Over the years, at almost every turn, I am reminded of the power of collaborative leadership…of common goals and shared purpose. And I’m also reminded how difficult it is to stay above the notion and allure of forcing teams to “just do it” (whatever “it” is). It is a shortcut, a cop out of sorts.

The short cut always seems so clear. Come up with an edict and the hard work is done. However, “cultures” simply will NOT change when commanded to do so. They will comply, but will not change. That means that real commitment to a common purpose will never be achieved. This is especially true of knowledge workers.

Cultural change requires others to reach conclusions on their own, and my ability to edict change is no substitute for the hard work of leadership. This particular anti-pattern, however unsavory, seems to capture my vision of leaders who fall victim to this shortcut when they should know better.

One thought on “Command and Control (a leadership anti-pattern)

  1. Pingback: Jason Montague

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.