ENGL230 Leadership Tactics Discussions

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ENGL230 Leadership Tactics Discussions
Management has always used fear to some degree. Although most leadership books ignore this tool…

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ENGL230 Leadership Tactics Discussions

ENGL230 Leadership Tactics Discussions

Week 5 All Students Posts – 28 Pages

Management has always used fear to some degree. Although most leadership books ignore this tool altogether, in favor of more accommodating techniques, many highly successful executives use terror to lead their employees. Scott Snook, a Harvard Business School professor of organizational behavior, suggests that fear can become a barrier to taking risks, but, at the same time, it can “provide the essential emotional kick” needed to meet a challenge.  The use of fear to lead can cause many problems because no one will question the leadership or suggest changes.

For example, Enron had its employees rank one another’s performance every year and then fired the lowest ten percent. This practice could not have made questioning authority easy, and such questions could have helped to avoid Enron’s scandal and collapse. Workers who have more credentials and experience are less reliant on a single employer, and for them, fear-inspiring bosses are less of a factor.

In strong economic times, workers are more difficult to come by, so bosses must be careful. However, in times of downturn, such as in the last few years, management has had more power over employees, and cracking the whip has become more common. Most successful companies are made up of people who are “productively neurotic.” That is, their neuroses makes them more productive workers because they have “a strong, self-imposed fear of failure.” Firms with such workers don’t use fear directly to encourage employees; rather, they simply reinforce people’s own natural tendency to strive for success.

Do you think it is ethical for an organization to allow its leaders to use fear as a communication tactic? What have your experiences with fear as a leadership tool been? What do you all think of fear as a management tool? If you have been in this situation with a manager, please share your experience. Do any of us employ this technique as a manager?…