Command-and-Control leaders are the ones who inspire bad-boss punching bags and books like “The Boss from Hell.”
They’re easy to caricature. Hard to work for. But not all bad.
They have something that even the most enlightened boss needs — the ability to provide crystal-clear direction when the situation calls for it.
Example: If a fire broke out in your building, would lives more likely be saved by a consensus-builder or a tyrant who shouted, “Follow that exit sign and get out of here NOW!”?
In that situation, I’ll place my bets on the tyrant.
I think a lot of people under-value the Command-and-Control managerial style. Fact is, managers who can’t deploy it convincingly when it’s appropriate are missing an important item in their managerial toolkit.
The problem, of course, is that some leaders resort to the Command-and-Control style all the time, even when there’s no urgency and no need to use it. And they get their names written on bad-boss punching bags.
To be effective, no manager should ever rely on a single managerial style. We all need a full repertoire of styles, and we need to know when to use them.
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