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What’s wrong with being commander-in-chief?

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Q. Why do we frown on business leaders who truly command?

A. In this unpredictable, fast-changing economy, leaders need to be nimble. If you’re intent on securing every employee’s blessing before you do anything to shake up things, you won’t get very far. By all means consult with your team when necessary to gather information and advice. But then take what they give you and render your verdict.

I’ve found that I can take command more forcefully when we’re in a dogfight. So I’ll issue my orders by saying: “Ideally, we’d sit down and work together on this and gain everyone’s agreement. But now we face a timetable not of our choosing. We can’t afford to talk this out. We must act.”

In a crisis, people look to you for leadership. That’s why you should define the stakes and set an urgent deadline when you want employees to fall in line.

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