Command, Control, and Oblivion

Command, Control, and Oblivion

The pressure is on.

The numbers aren’t where they need to be – or production is down – or there’s a manufacturing problem.

Oh, and there’s this Pandemic thing going on too.

Whatever the backdrop, it’s a pretty good time to gauge how employees at every level respond.

Especially when it comes to those with formal people responsibility and direct reports.

There’s a spectrum as regards these people. On one end we have transformative individuals of character – able to influence and guide; supportive , credible, and worthy of our trust. They’re rare – but they’re out there.

We call them LEADERS – and they’re the single greatest catalyst for building commitment in your company.

The next level are competent “handlers” – hopefully able to oversee, direct, plan, staff, and organize others into a work unit.  The spectrum for these handlers is quite broad – from highly effective to something less than.

We have a name for this very large group – we call them MANAGERS. 

Managers dominate the work arena. They serve a vital role but they don’t typically build a great company or a great culture. See Group 1 above for the architects needed for that.

Ironically, there’s a third group that can influence culture even more. They can be found in almost every company – and their impact, though often subtle, can be devastating. This group typically focuses on results like the first two, but their respect for people is limited. People are means to an end – and they will willingly sacrifice them at the altar of profitability.

We have a name for this final group – we call them Commanders and Controllers.  We can expect to see them in abundance right about now – when the heat is on. They can be found in every level of many organizations – and their power is linked to title. At their very best they can sometimes create compliance – nothing more.

As regards the latest crises, many companies will return to and exceed past levels.

Some won’t.

So if the vast majority of those charged with guiding people are in the Manager category, how important is the percentage of your company’s Leaders versus the percentage of Commander/Controllers?

Some would suggest your L/C  Ratio is the single most important formula for predicting success.

More Leaders – Human Capital soars.

More Commanders and Controllers – Human Capital plummets.

Culture happens – compliance is a short term solution to a long term problem.

Commitment is an all time solution to a timeless problem.

Leadership matters.




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