Becoming Great- TheTransformation of Leadership
Saddam Hussein, like Hitler, made the trains run on time. The command and control leadership/management style that was used to the extreme by these two guys, was effective. It got the job done.
In business and in organizations this style was inherited from the military where it finds it’s orgin. It was effective during a time when market competition was nonexistent, JOB competition was huge so you were lucky to have the job you had, and economic times were very very tough. People, under this model, are looked upon as “tools”, a means, by which work is done, an “employee , that which is employed or “used”.
And it worked.
There is a moral argument against this type of view, which rightly ignited the labor movement, which initially was a moral crusade. (Like many crusades however it’s day is done, the battle has been won, here, yet many crusaders continue to fight. Of course there are many other countries where this battle needs to be fought.) That moral argument is based on the dignity of all human beings. Dignity is by definition, is “inherent value or worth”. People have dignity, their lives are valuable simply because they exist. Something of value is worthy of respect and this is the missing ingredient in many of those who practice command and control leadership.
“Command and Control” leadership/ management does still have a place. Any situation that is critical, (crisis) where impending danger exists, where lives are threatened, where time is absolutely short, emergencies, all of these situations justify a command and control style. (Visit a Trauma Center and you will observe Command and Control.) But, and it is a big BUT, respect and dignity should never ever be suspended even though the situation calls for command and control. Indeed, the critical nature of the situation may cause us to “take charge” out of a concern for the welfare of people. Hurricane Katrina is a perfect example of this. At the local and state level, decisiveness was severely lacking when it was most important to get people out of New Orleans and many died as a result of a lack of will to exercise command and control leadership.
A Level 5 leader is someone who has strong professional will. A better description is “fierce revolve”. Fierce Resolve as we have said in other posts, is a “stick-to-it-tiveness” an uncompromising commitment to succeed. The other ingredient is humility, which by definition values the needs of OTHERS above our selves. It almost sounds impossible.
A humble person is eager for others to succeed, in fact, knows that he/she cannot “suck the oxygen out of the room” which is what charismatic leaders do, because then there would be no air left for anybody else. Humble leaders, believe what Mark Twain said, “ you can get a lot (more) done, if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
They also know this: you “rent” (for hire) a person’s hands and back, but they have to GIVE you their head and their hearts. This is why many command and control leaders think they have “idiots” working for them. Because all they get from their people is hands and their backs, because their people “check the rest at the door.”