Managers need to exercise some control to deliver the results that are requires and to help their works achieve their potential. However obedience can have a dark side unless it is tempered by judgement. Good managers encourage and train their staff to use their judgement and to act with bounded independence. Bad managers demand rote obedience and suppress judgement to mere rule and procedure following. This article by John Stepper shows the dangers of obedience.
Complete this sentence: “My boss is a …”
Did you say “role model”? Or “true leader”? No. When you start searching the Internet for “My boss is a…,” the most common completions are “bully,” “idiot,” “jerk,” “liar,” “psycho,” “moron,” and some other words that aren’t very nice.
Every day, millions of people are subjected to work situations that rob them of control and often their dignity. Maybe it’s a boss who mistreats you. Or rules that tell you what to do and when to do it. Or management systems that force you to compete with colleagues, bringing out the worst in human behavior.
Here’s why your boss is a jerk – and how you can fight back.
The perils of obedience
In July, 1961, three months after Adolf Eichmann went on trial for Nazi war crimes, the psychologist Stanley Milgram began a series of experiments on obedience to authority figures…
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