The Renaissance period Italian statesman, Niccolo Machiavelli, once said this about leadership, “It is better to be feared than loved…”
But does this age-old advice ring true in the contemporary workplace?
All employees want great managers, yet few enjoy that luxury. But what really makes a great manager?
Some say it’s more effective to use fear tactics to get results. Others argue that a positive can-do management style is best for productivity. So what’s the answer?
We probably have all had managers at some point in our careers who we thought were real jerks, albeit for different reasons. Have you ever had a manager that would make a great Army drill sergeant? You know, the kind that:
These are managers who rule by the sword and wear authority on their sleeves.
They make you cringe or hide under the desk when they approach. The result: employees carry out their work with a sense of fear, loathing and even paranoia. These employees feel as if they can’t make any mistakes or do anything wrong — lest the monster manager eats them alive.
Yes, these monster managers may get results because they are feared. But are they getting the best results possible in the most effective and efficient way?
Do monster managers get the most productivity out of staff? Is this a good management and leadership approach?
On the other side, perhaps you’re one of the chosen few who are lucky to have — or have had — a manager like the biblical figure Moses. That’s a manager who exudes leadership and respect, knows how to motivate the team, create a positive work culture for all employees, and works “miracles” in crisis situations. This type of manager:
This type of manager is often “loved” not loathed.
The result: employees are engaged, have high-morale, and go the extra mile when needed. These employees view their manager as a true leader whom they look up to, admire, respect, and want to work hard for without prodding. Employees truly trust this type of manager.
Fortunately, I’ve been lucky to have a “Moses Manager” for the past seven years. However, I’ve had “Monster Managers” before and know firsthand how they can make an employee’s work-life miserable — to the detriment of the office and organization.
Thus, I think the management and leadership approach of being loved rather than feared is best if one must choose between the two different styles.
This is because the “Moses Manager” often achieves exemplary bottom-line results by maximizing employee productivity while maintaining high staff morale and contributing to a healthy work environment. This style serves as a catalyst for employees to thrive by reaching their maximum potential.
But that’s just my take. What’s YOUR experience been like?
Please share your valuable feedback below…
* All views and opinions are those of the author only.
Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com