Authoritarians: Why They Suck As Managers…

"There is an essential cowardice in all authoritarians, which becomes more obvious as they tighten their grip."

-Charles Pierce on David Stern at Grantland

I love this quote I picked up last week, because there are so many levels you can explore.  And also because Authjority it's true.

Authoritarians suck as managers.  Let me more specific -  Authoritarians suck as developers of people, or as the PhDs say, "human capital".

There's still a market for authoritarians as managers.  In any business that has a low need for innovation and a high need for compliance/rule-following, authoritarians can still thrive - even in 2014.

But if your business has any need at all for innovation, change management or any other need besides compliance, authoritarians suck as managers.  Let's explore why:

1. Authoritarians don't care about the development of people.  They might say they do, but they don't.  Did you follow the rules?  Cool.  You didn't?  I'm going to beat that wrist of yours with this stick.

2. Authoritarians can't handle moderate risk-taking, no matter how much the people that work for them might learn. See the above notes for why.

3. Career conversations don't compute with authoritarians.  All they care about is the aforementioned grip on your organization.  They're never going to be confused as a mentor.  

4. Cowardice is a great word to describe authoritarians.  They can't allow or handle different paths to a similar outcome and all the learning that goes with it.  They're scared because of the way they are wired to allow any type of experimentation.

Don't hire authoritarians if you want an agile, nimble company that can innovate and change as needed.  

Or if you want people mentored and developed.

I'm out.

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