Before we deal with management styles (authoritarian, democratic and paternalistic), let’s take a look at the root.
The reasons for people’s perception of management styles
The development of the theme of humanism in recent centuries is, of course, a progressive and necessary phenomenon for humanity. It provides us (people) more opportunities for survival, personal development, cultivation of the next generations.
But humanity is heterogeneous. Differences in cultures not only of different nations, but even in the individual views within small groups, caused by the unique upbringing and education of each individual, determine the individual perceptions of social phenomena, characteristics, prohibitions. These differences are amplified due to the unique structure of the brain of each person. And although each person (without brain pathologies) is somewhat more intelligent than other representatives of the fauna, the intelligence is distributed unevenly, depending on the individual luck.
Even if a person is born predisposed to become a genius in some field of activity, he must also be lucky with social conditions in order to develop and realize the advantages laid down by nature. He should meet at least one person who will help him to realize his abilities and direct them to their implementation, while others, at least few, people will perceive and appreciate his outstanding achievements.
Few geniuses are born. Not all of them realize their potential. Talents are more common, but even they are not always successful due to the same social reasons. The vast majority of people have average abilities. There is also a share of the inept, deprived by nature. But humanistic rhetoric comes from the erroneous assumption that any person can be taught anything and developed to any heights of professionalism in any field, if he wants and makes enough effort.
Professionalism, and all the more success, is not achieved by everyone. The — the vast majority of the potentially successful does not overcome the resistance of nature, which consists in the instinct of self-preservation. These people instinctively save energy and do not perform enough actions to achieve more. Possessing the natural potential, they deceive themselves by inventing excuses and accusing others of creating allegedly interfering circumstances.
In this they are helped by a mass talk of equality, democracy, the responsibility of the strong, including states, to care for the weak.
The sellers of hope who promise them either care or easy success further limit or even paralyze their activity. (Read more about sales of hope in the article «The best-selling, but at best, useless type of product«).
Thus, the overwhelming majority of people, consisting of those who are naturally incapable or capable, but submitting to instincts and / or hoping for the promised success, instead ofcontroling themselves and others, choose obedience to people who are ready to rule. Intermediaries between the managed and the managers are those occupying low-level management positions and hired top managers of small and medium-sized enterprises. And only a relatively small part of the representatives of this group makes efforts to grow professionally and rise higher, not being satisfied with the current situation.
Regardless of the chosen role, people are inclined to follow the natural instincts of procreation and dominance, as well as perceived social instincts and norms.
Thus, dominance is manifested in the fact that those who choose the role of the governed are sure that they know how to manage and, regardless of the role, everyone sincerely believes that he has a qualification level above the average in his specialty. This belief, like any belief, does not allow people to think and impartially assess their abilities, knowledge and skills. They do not analyze them and do not compare them with those possessed by leaders that have proven their professionalism by the high achievements, both in their specialty and in managing other people.
Social needs of people, including ideas about the upbringing of their children, along with the desire for dominance, determine the receptivity to flattering tales. The tales spread by theorists of management and other humanitarian “sciences” who are dreaming of free bread, as well as populists of all stripes engaged in “humanistic” verbiage about undeserved equality, responsibility of those who have worked and risked all to take care of those who chose to be managed, to nurture them, motivate, and respect them before they have proven their merit.
These stories correspond to the natural needs of people to get food, feed children and show dominance. Therefore, even if they are not wrapped in a science-like wrapper and spread by unknown talkers, they are still easily rooted in the minds of biological creatures, flatteringly calling themselves Homo sapience.
Believing in such tales, people automatically, without analyzing the essence and effectiveness of the managing styles, methods and tools, call for the use of those that are beneficial for them, demanding their
superiors to please them.
The assessment of managers by the managed thus depends on the level of their satisfaction, and not on the achieved results of work. Since each evaluator is unique and has hiss own criteria, each makes his own assessment. Therefore, one praises the boss, another makes a mixed evaluation , while the third, criticizes.
Most bosses of any level know that it is impossible to please all subordinates. Anyone who is trying to achieve this, always receives only overall discontent. But the goal of management is not the pleasure of subordinates, but the achievement of the set tasks and / or obtaining intermediate results on the way to them. Management should be effective regardless of the name of his style.
Management theorists, by virtue of their imagination, divide and call management styles in different ways. For this, it is enough for them to group some nuances of relations with subordinates, and the “new” style is created. In order not to engage in «trifles», let us consider three styles: paternalistic, democratic (liberal) and authoritarian.
Given the rationality of the predominant part of subordinates, they can be treated as children, and managed accordingly. Paternalistic, for example, like dad guides his son. In this case it is necessary, irrespective of the age of workers:
• wipe them snot, especially in case of failures;
• make sure that they do not to “sweat in the wind” (when confronted with other people except for “dad”);
• every time give them something tasty at the proper execution of commands, like to the trained dogs.
The paternalistic management style is applicable only to people with a low level of dominance who are not trying to be dominant at every opportunity. It is costly, not productive, not suitable where the forced labor is needed at least sometimes. It is dangerous to customers when high precision of production is required.
Fortunately, the paternalistic style is used very rarely, since even among non-dominant employees, some of them will still begin to try to dominate and to introduce discord into such a kindergarten group “working” team.
Do not use it!
Democratic (liberal) management style
This is a cherished, -persistently propagandized, exalted style, strongly recommended by management theorists. To appreciate their view on the advantages of this style, I have gathered its characteristic (often -highlighted) features from various publications. They are listed in the following paragraph in italic font. Of course, the features are more numerous, but I limited myself to those that are most often heard from employees, that is, subordinates, including managers at various levels.
The leader works in a team, is open to new ideas,takes into account the opinions of employees, consults with them, delegates authority to them, does not pressure employees, motivates them, creates a good-natured atmosphere in the team, encourages creativity in problem solving, does not control every step, helps to develop, grows leaders , does not breed bureaucracy, knows and helps to solve personal problems of subordinates.
Yes, the previous paragraph sounds beautiful, flattering for subordinates, because the actions and qualities of a leader listed in it are based on the naive belief in common sense and rationality of people who supposedly will work properly and even better under such management. Alas, they will not.
Of course, individual labor feats are possible, because life is diverse, and for some unique individual, personal motivations may in some moment coincide with the interests of a leader who is also trying to conform to these qualities. But this happens by chance, and not systemically. And only in individuals, not in working groups. Teamwork is also possible, but more information on that subject is given in the paper “Team building. Business myths, devouring the money of your enterprises «.
Unfortunately, we (people) are not as sensible and rational as theorists of the humanitarian sciences postulate. Our natural and social needs are contrary to the good wishes of dreamers who preach a democratic (liberal) management style. By the way, maybe you noticed that in the italicized paragraph there is no word “manages”. It is not there not because I intentionally did not use it. The fact is that speaking of a democratic style, theorists do not imply management. They trumpet about creation of conditions under which the performers themselves will allegedly work selflessly and in good faith, even better than is required of them.
This is convenient for those that are managed. They can always declare (and do that) that the chiefs did not create such conditions and thus demotivated them. Such behavior of subordinates is natural. Management should really be a management in the given setup, rather than attempts to create beneficial conditions in hope of payment in the form of proper labor.
Speaking about the democratic style of management, theorists also mention disadvantages. But with careful reading of these references it is clear that they are talking about the weaknesses of managers, and not about the shortcomings of style.
For example, theorists say about managers: “They promote laziness and moral decay in the working team. They let go of the managerial reins.The weak control of the leader provokes theft and non-fulfillment of duties. He loses his grip.” And other innumerable such flaws of managers, supposedly reasonably aimed at creating the conditions of the immoral and criminal activities of innocent subordinates “sapiences”.
Yes, these misfortunes occur with leaders who have driven themselves into a corner as a result of delegation of authority, trusting the subordinates, encouraging their -mostly inappropriate creativity, expectations of working heroism from the well-fed by the “motivational cookies” and overloaded with social benefits. That is, as a result of the lack of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social needs of people which go against stupid well-wishing of theorists.
All people are driven by the instinct of dominance, everyone wants to command, not obey the commands. Those of us who, by virtue of brain structure and / or well-learned social constraints imposed by educators, are afraid to command and are forced to play the role of governed in order to survive, also do not want to carry out other people’s orders. After all, any external managerial influence is unnatural for an individual, not his own impetus for action.
People obey and carry out orders of chiefs and other people on whom they somehow depend, not because they are motivated to achieve something, but because they want to avoid possible punishments and / or losses. Even the majority of requests from loved ones and / or acquaintances we fulfill either in the hope of reciprocity, or for the sake of increasing self-esteem (Just don’t lie to yourself about the sublime crystalclear altruistic motives of these actions!).
Therefore, the real management of subordinates is always based on their fear of not getting what they want and / or losing what they have. Even subordinates motivated to do the work in the hope of realizing their own goals and interests, obey orders, out of fear to be left without promised and / or available tools or means for realization of their aspirations due to insubordination. For example, while being employed, an employee regularly receives money, which he uses to satisfy his own interests and needs. Failure to comply with the order of the chief, which results in a dismissal, deprives the employee of the money — the mean to realize his aspirations.
The lack of desire to carry out someone’s orders naturally causes a negative attitude to the real management by the leaders . Therefore, subordinates and flattering them theorists of management and other humanitarian “sciences” ascribe positive features to management styles that allow, if not a thue anarchy, then a certain freedom, flavored by many ways to satisfy the people who instinctively savee energy and avoid proper labor.
At the same time, real management is supplied with epithets that cause a negative reaction in people. Well, what’s wrong with the management style of leaders, about which even management theorists write: “They take responsibility, make decisions quickly, set tasks clearly.” But this style is called authoritarian, and the word “authoritarianism” is instilled in a stable negative attitude by the fact that, as a result of political propaganda, it is close in meaning to the word “dictatorship”.
But why the name of the style matters so much? If it provides the desired results of activity without violating the legitimate rights and interests of subordinates and other people, then, even ifit is called «Disgusting,» it should be used.
What management style is used in the armies of all countries? Imagine the reaction of the corporal to the criticism of his order by the private. Try to imagine a general who adheres to paternalistic principles, who must give an order, the fulfillment of which is associated with a high probability of the death of the performer. Or should the general take some advice from those who run into the attack? -Can you imaging the manageability of the army with a democratic management style?
Of course, one can argue that that is an army, it cannot exist without authoritarianism. Well, let us consider one of the most peaceful professions. Thus, school and university teachers can not choose the timing of vacation. They are obliged to obey the rules authoritatively established by the state. Yes, these rules suit the majority, but they impose significant restrictions on the rights of the representatives of this profession.
All governmental regulations are authoritarian. It cannot be any other way. This principle is not disputed by anyone, even in the so-called democratic countries. But at the same time, authoritarian rule-making established within enterprises the subordinates, warmed up by the ideas of theorists and protected by socialist (in essence) legal acts of the state, interpret negatively and -talk about its demotivating influence. Alas, this is natural. The managers of enterprises do not have and cannot have such rights of repression as those of the representatives of state bodies armed with legal rights. This is what subordinates use, defending their own natural and social interests when they oppose real control by their superiors.
If you do not manage the subordinates, then the effect for your enterprise and for them will be deplorable, because the managed ones will not have a strong enough motive to work even for the sake of keeping their jobs. The preceding sentence contradicts the fault often attributed by theorists to the managers acting authoritarily. They formulate this fault in the following way: “The leader sets the interests of the cause above people. Alas, if he did not put the interests of the case high, these supposedly oppressed people would be forced to replenish the labor market, and there they could continue to do what, according to theorists, he does not tolerate: criticize the manager, resist his actions and try to hang on his ears noodles of their opinions.
Therefore, I repeat: the name of the real management style “Authoritarian”, accompanied by a negative connotation, can be replaced by even “Disgusting”, but it is the only style that needs to be used. This must be done notwithstanding the myths that carry away money, which are spread by sweet-voiced preachers of foolishness about the labor responsibility of biological creatures who flatter themselfs by the self-assigned name «Homo sapiens».
Real management methods of subordinates
Much has been written about what management tools should be used and how to use them, and why their use gives the results that managers need. Since an article is a size-limited genre, everything could not be included in it, and there is no need for that. Here are given the links to publications in which, in the necessary and sufficient volume, without science-based blunders, recommendations of the effective management of employees have been described.
I recommend you to read, study and use to ensure the proper labor of the workers the following:
• articles freely available on my website www.shern.ru under the headline » Management of employees «;
• manuals — “Methods of real management of employees. Why, how and what to manage»
Notwithstanding of your wish to be loved by your subordinates. — Notwithstanding of how pleasing for your ears are the words about freedom, equality and fraternity. No matter how much you (if you are not a manager of the highest hierarchical level) dream of a boss working in a democratic or paternalistic style. You should know and understand that all the governed have themselves renounced some of their freedoms, that there can be no equality, that subordinates will refuse to share with you the responsibility for the fallacy of even those decisions in the development of which they took an active part.
Do not share your freedom in making decisions of management with your subordinates concerned with their own needs and interests. It will be better for everyone. After all, you will use power in the interests of the cause, and not to humiliate and suppress workers, to show your own dominance.
And to illustrate the above is a poem from my book «Fool to teach. Aphorisms in verse «:
Imagine that suddenly all became equal.
Neither down nor up in any way.
No one is rich and all are not poor
In equality strong grip.
Not to become a subordinate, not to become a commander.
It is impossible on the pedestal, taboo for the heights .
Not to be a prisoner, not to be a guard.
Freedom and equality are incompatible.
Successes to you in the effective management of subordinates, even if your style is called «Disgusting»!