A leader who motivates and inspires passion in a team while streamlining the operations of their department is truly an effective leader. The opposite of this would be a leader who instills anxiety and fear by commanding, while expecting high performance from their direct reports. We all have a choice in the leader we want to be and from this class, have been provided the tools to build a positive path for this journey. As a new leader, my ultimate goal is to create more leaders to share this journey, not just to have more followers.
Five years ago, the director of my department retired. A new person was brought in who had the education, the experience and the highly ...view middle of the document...
In our department meetings, we were expected to sit quietly and only
INSPIRED LEADERSHIP VERSUS COMMANDING LEADERSHIP 3
speak up at the end of the meeting when she provided time for questions.
The problem was that Patty was brought in to improve the budget, period. There were rewards for winning and meeting her budget goal. Often times, prizes to be productive drive people to look better with little regard to doing what is morally right (Callahan, 2004). There are pressures to respond strategically to do what is best for the organization rather than what is best for the employee. A commanding leader, as Patty demonstrated herself to be, expects everyone to follow the rules with no questions asked. According to Dourado and Blackburn (2004) “command-and-control leadership will get people to show up in body but not, crucially, in spirit” (p. 7). The employees are at the mercy of those who lead them, which can leave them feeling vulnerable. At worst, this can lead the employee to experience coercion and manipulation (Johnson, 2007). This blind obedience can nurture tendencies of rebellion due to the nature of humans in wanting to make their own choices (Callahan, 2004). Blind obedience rarely involves praise but employs criticism when work is not done to the satisfaction of the leader. Criticism instead of praise inhibits innovation.
In reflecting on the style of leadership that was experienced while working for Patty, it has helped me understand what can be done differently to avoid the mistakes she made. Knowing and believing in the mission and values of your organization is critical to the success of any team who hopes to grow in that organization (Wilson & Dobson, 2008). Working with your employees to achieve the goals of the department in supporting these values will allow them to feel involved. A good leader needs to interact with their employees regularly and listen to...