Tag Archives: leadership

Authoritarian vs. Democratic Leadership

One thing we see throughout the finance industry is the success of the authoritarian leader. Why, since authoritarianism is frowned upon, does it pervade as a model for management? To understand this, we need to, I think, take the judgement out of the question and simply ask:

Why does the authoritarian manager succeed in the finance industry?

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First Things First

I must study politics and war, that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
John Adams

I have seen managers and leaders in companies grow frustrated and even desperate at the lack of cooperation they got from the people who worked for them. I came to realise two things:

  1. The managers and leaders often had lofty needs, to do with legacies, creating centres of excellence, gaining the respect of their peers, etc.
  2. That the people working for such managers and leaders often had much more basic needs, to do with safety, systems that worked properly and continued employment. 

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If You Could Visualise Incompetence; Or, Cretan Reflections, Part 1

All over Agia Palagia, like all over the rest of Crete, there are houses that are not finished.  The state of disrepair ranges.  Sometimes the house is complete but the carport is a concrete shell.  Other times there is only the skeleton which, as the sun sets, casts shadows across itself and so has the appearance of a painting by Escher. Continue reading

In All Seriousness...

Leaders by definition are rare, topping a hierarchy with one or more followers in it.  There is only one captain, one manager, one prime minister.  The harder it is to follow someone or something, the more we justify it to ourselves, which is why initiation ceremonies are used to cement the bond between the group and the individual; the pain makes you feel special.  (This is known as sadomasochism, and it in lies the secret as to how pain can feel good.  Anyone who has been in an abusive relationship knows what I am talking about.) Continue reading