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February 03, 2014


Kimberlee, Esq.

Wow. I understand how, given the name of your blog, authoritarianism doesn't really jive with you politically, but I'm still kind of shocked by your total lack of understanding of what an "authoritarian" is. Especially in the context of management.

There's plenty of room for risk-taking and innovation in an authoritarian workplace regime. I think you're confusing "authoritarian" with "power-hungry asshole." But just because there's some overlap on the Venn diagram doesn't mean they're synonymous.

(As evidence, I submit the huge number of power-hungry assholes who become CEOs out of greed and love for power, and then run their companies into the ground because they refuse to take risks or foster innovation.)

DA Hooligan

I looked up the word "authoritarian" before I read this blog to make sure I had the definition correct. Kris pretty much has it right.

Matt Landrum

OK, this is actually a topic I am pretty interested in so I would like to hear some feedback on this. Let me set the stage...

1. I think strong management can be an amazing productivity enabler (and I mean management and not leadership, though they are both important).

2. I've run into roughly 3 classes of people when evangelizing my belief stated in #1.

C. Those that buy into my management message either because it makes logical sense or experience tells them it's true.

B. Those that buy in because they naturally like working with/developing people (so you're preaching a message they want to hear anyway).

C. Those that believe fear and money are how you get people to do things (a friend of mine's dad used to joke that those were the only two things in his management tool chest).

OK, now here is where I am interested in feedback. How does one approach those in category C without looking like the touchy-feely HR guy? Because let's be honest, you can definitely get OK results with the combination of fear and power, and if that's what they have used to climb the ladder, what's going to get their attention?

Truly interested in constructive, positive feedback. Not interested in "you'll never change those people" comments (heard them already). Examples of previously successful experiences encouraged (or previously unsuccessful experiences with what you would do differently).

Thanks for the post, KD.

Matt Landrum

Yes, I learned the alphabet C, B, C, D... those of you with less imaginative schooling should refer the the first C as the letter "A"... unless KD can just fix that for me.

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