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Worker responsibility is highly efficient, but rejected by most managers. WHY? Human nature and natural instincts.
Man’s natural instincts are self-destructive and must be controlled for the pursuit of compatibility. Children display destructive natural instincts that are corrected by parents. In time, children learn to control their feelings. As society advances, as adults, we learn to control other natural instincts. For example, a man sees a beautiful woman walking down the street and thinks, "I must have her." Natural instinct is to grab her and claim her as his own. (Policy during the caveman days.) The problem is, the results would be undesirable. A man must use persuasive powers to win her over and these powers must be learned, they are not natural. This is leadership and leadership skills must be learned, they are not natural.
During the early 1900s, leadership was by fear and threats, forcing people to follow orders. This is man’s natural instinct. This led to the policy of abuse which produced undesirable results. It became apparent that worker abuse was self-destructive and worker cooperation led to increased efficiency. Leaders had to learn how to win subordinates cooperation and overcome the belief that abuse is leadership.
Today, businesses recognize some of man’s natural instincts, some of which are still in the caveman days. Sexual harassment is one of them. Training programs are implemented to make people aware of its destructiveness. Other destructive instincts are still ignored and these cause conflict and increase overhead cost. Social prejudice is one of them. Recognizing destructive instincts requires the ability to view reaction from another's point of view.
Worker responsibility is the result of management learning to control natural instincts related to: power, control, social prejudice, change, job security. These natural instincts must be understood and controlled, just as leaders in the early industrial age had to understand abuse and learn to control it. Worker responsibility increases efficiency.
Man has a natural desire to be a team player, where his efforts are recognized and appreciated by team members. Man has a natural desire to learn and he also has a natural desire to increase his productivity. Productivity will increase when he is allowed to present and implement his ideas. Trial and error is power education, it motivates, it finds a better way, it increases efficiency.
For the last hundred years, command-and-control leadership has killed natural desires and the efficiency they would bring. To bring these desires back to life is a learning process. This is time consuming, because people fight change.
Fifty years from now, society will view today’s workers as "order following robots," just as we view the early 1900s as "abusive."
Subordinates attitudes are a direct result of leadership style. If leaders don’t like subordinates attitudes, typically they implement policies that force them to comply. Leaders want subordinates to change, they will not change. Yet, for real change to take place, leaders must change and learn how to lead for desired results.
Many businesses create profits from workers repetitive tasks and limited skills. This is a non-learning environment where workers soon learn that low know-how helps them tolerate boredom. Their desire to learn and contribute input is dead. The results, workers react by acting dumb and stupid, then leaders use worker stupidity as an excuse not to be productive.
Three front-line workers sharing knowledge on a united goal becomes a highly intelligent team. This intelligence can work for or against leaders.
Acting dumb and stupid is a form of silent rebellion. It is an excuse that takes performance pressure off of everyone. When leaders say, "workers are dumb and stupid," less is expected from them. Workers reacting to leaders’ attitude prove him right through self-fulfilling prophecy. Because leaders can’t get efficiency, they want management to believe that the workers have a low intelligence level. This reduces pressure on leadership performance and it takes pressure off the workers’ to produce. It also gives leaders a feeling of superiority and job security.
Acting dumb and stupid is not a natural instinct, it is adapted under bad leadership.
"Acting dumb and stupid" may seem extreme, but variations of this attitude are in most work environments.
We all have a basic desire to be lazy. This is a powerful motivating force because we dream of being lazy and we work hard to fulfill that dream. Then there are people who don’t dream about being lazy, they are!
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