Force versus Power in Business

From the way they do business it is easy to see whether a company uses force or true power in the way it operates. Successful companies are those that have a heart. They chose to manage their business taking a more humane approach as opposed to being strictly left brain managed. The latter will focus on the hard facts, processes and procedures. There is little concern for the people behind them.

Successful companies demonstrate true power. Their management practices are based on consensus, involvement or collaboration and tend to be less hierarchical. This kind of approach focuses on establishing sound values and principles. It is inspirational and results in unifying teams. We observe employees who are accommodating, warm, understanding and energetic. Jobs have meaning and value because they are aligned with interests and passions of employees. Employees feel as if they are part of a larger family. As a result they feel greater loyalty to the company. They feel nurtured and supported.

In contrast are those companies that are driven by processes and procedures. Or the management style is more prescriptive, often following a more forceful approach. In this scenario the driving force is ego or self-interest of someone at a senior level. This kind of style succeeds in polarising people. It will always lead to a counter reaction, poor co-operation or defensiveness. It is a divisive style of management that has a definite negative impact on the morale of teams.

Adopting a confrontational approach in dealing with challenges is indicative of a style of leading through fear, intimidation or coercion. This style uses force. The latter may come across in a strong and obvious way but in other cases the style may be much more covert through subtle pressure. The effect will be the same. This approach can over time lead to moral corruption because employees see no need to comply. Force is about a need to control others. It stems from a lack of inner power and healthy self-esteem. This kind of approach will never bring the best out of employees.

Force of any kind always leads to a win-lose scenario. True power though, always leads to a win-win situation. The challenge for executives and business owners is to create a company that looks for answers that will make all sides happy and facilitate cohesion.

We may at times fall back into a more directive or forceful style if we find ourselves pressurised in some way. What we need to be fully aware of is when this becomes our normal mode of managing as it will fail to have a positive impact on employees. It is preferable to take some time out to reflect briefly when we become aware of the fact that we have become more “forceful”. We need to find it in ourselves to be open to looking for solutions that will reduce conflict and where the aim is harmony and co-operation.

If you would like to explore ways in which to introduce more inspirational ways of managing your teams please Contact Me.

Posted in Leadership, Power.