Authority or Energise?

The old ‘command and control’ management system was highly prevalent amongst big corporations at the time of Jack Welch’s GE tenure. That leadership system had evolved from the Military and relied on rank and title to establish authority.

So, this was seen then as the best way to run companies because the feeling was, that without Managers barking out orders to workers, how would things get done? We are very much in a different world now and the vast majority of the workforce would simply not respond to this style of management but, we see, from our ten years of working with SME’s, it is still evident in a number of companies.

This is clearly not the best way to lead an organisation as it most certainly isn’t motivational and prevents people from contributing so much more to the business in terms of initiatives and ideas – ‘command and control’ simply throttles this.

Genuine leadership comes from the quality of the Vision outlined by leadership and their ability to support individuals and teams to achieve extraordinary performance. The best leaders never lead by threat or intimidation, they lead by inspiring others to WANT to perform – ‘here is my vision on what we can become and here’s how you can help make this a reality’. From this the individual knows that they play an important part in achieving the overall company goal. Today there are still far too many employees in SME’s that don’t know exactly how what they do contribute to the whole – as a result they don’t feel that they have responsibility, so they just ‘do their job’.

In today’s fast moving and complex business the ability to energise and motivate a business team to a Vision is even more important if you are to create a really top performing and market leading team.

Here are a few tips:
Never lead by Intimidation: Barking orders and behaving like ‘the boss’ or an ‘autocrat’ is confined to business history – make it part of your past.

Let others know exactly how their efforts help the Organisation: Most people want to help but to get the most from them they need to know how their actions will help the organisation achieve its goals.

Catch people doing something right and thank them in an unexpected way: As big a Company as GE were Jack Welch sent handwritten notes to people who had done good work – different and hugely motivational. Think of different ways – like a ‘free family meal’ for example, for someone who has done great work. This is often more appreciated than a £££ reward.

As Welch said:
‘We know where productivity, real and limitless productivity comes from. It comes from challenged, empowered, excited and rewarded teams of people’

Need some help in reviewing your leadership qualities and style? Get in touch with us at, or call on 0116 232 5231

Alternatively, contact me directly at the points below:

David Turner
Managing Director
07747 023610