Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Are you a dictator or a leader?

What have Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein all got in common? They are all famous dictators I hear you say. Well yes, but the point I want to make is that they all led by using fear. If you were different or spoke out against these people you were duly dealt with. Now unfortunately, there are some world leaders still in place across the world with these sort of ideals but I will save my opinion on them for a different day.

What I am struck by is how similar some peoples management style is in various companies to those leadership styles of Hitler, Mussolini and Hussein. I have friends, and work colleagues who have worked in a variety of jobs. the fact that this type of style still happens in workplaces is shocking. I know of one retail company where a manager would "take you outside" if you had a problem and fights were a regular occurrence. Many more where the words "sack that person or you lose your job" are used far too often. They lead by using fear to oppress their workforce into doing a good job but have no respect from their staff. It is still the case that in many organisations that these people in authority have been at a company for years. Their managers previously have been nasty, on a huge power trip and a little bit lazy so they chose to lead like that but are maybe a little nicer. Well that is where the system is flawed, if you want to get the best out of any staff under your control it is about respect and treating them as your equals. That way people will want to come to work every day and do their best for you and in turn your performance as a manager will also improve because you are getting the best out of staff.

In life I think the best managers I have worked for have been those who lead by example. But it seems in some circles this is frowned upon by other managers. Now, what would you prefer? A person who gets stuck in and helps you with your job etc and does their management stuff as well or somebody who just seems to be sat in an office or standing around telling you what to do, when half the time they could've done something themselves quicker. It is a respect thing too, If you see somebody in charge of you etc working their arse off to make a difference than you will respect them a lot more than if it is you and your colleagues running around while they shout out the orders.

I am inherently English and very proud to be so but the best portrayal of leadership I have seen was Mel Gibson playing William Wallace in Braveheart.

 "They may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!"      

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