Leadership means influencing people for the attainment of objectives. In doing so, a leader needs to possess certain personality features, qualities, elements, as the tools to lead, command, and control his men. These character features, elements, and capacities are the instruments by which a leader develops his domain to move others. Leading, commanding, and controlling capacities are imbued with both emotional and physical parameters of human life. The essence of command and control is related to exercising hard power, but the leadership approach involves practising the highest degree of soft skills. A few of those approaches are in the following paragraphs.
a. Exercising Authority. Many organizational leaders try to complete their mission by imposing the authority and policy of the organization. These leaders often overrule the essential human factors and work as an audio machine to disseminate orders. Such leaders mostly remain ignorant about the practical aspects of peoples’ emotions, abilities, or limitations. Men remain loyal just because fearing penalties or lose benefits. With few exceptions, this form of leadership cannot inspire people appropriately and fails in the face of even some tiny challenges. Imposing authority is not suitable for any leadership environment especially when the organization seek intense devotion and a strong emotional attachment of their men.
b. Physical Use of Force. In the ancient days, kings and emperors used to control kingship by utilizing physical use of force. Musclemen controlled their tribes during the pre-modern societies. History says many of the military campaigns were also conducted by physical use of force upon their own soldiers. Even the history of the 2nd World War writes; many incidents where many soldiers were hard-pressed by creating fear of death who got fallen behind in the assault line. Presently, most outlawed ring leaders apply physical threats to cause death or serious bodily harm to control their gangs. The physical use of force is not an option at all who wants to be a true leader.
c. Give and Take. Command and control relate to the ability of a leader to purchase the loyalty of his men. The ‘give and take’ method is a decent way to buy it. An administrator can earn it by applying “give and take principles,” where people are given an amount of money, benefits, and facilities in return, they remain loyal. The method is practised widely in the present world system, where the corporate culture is the best example. “Give and take mode” often seems to be successful from a managerial point of view but cannot inspire people for higher vision, especially in the face of challenges and uncertainty.
d. Inspiration. Infusing inspiration in the human heart is the most effective way to move people. Men feel proud and contented to follow their leader when they are encouraged. In this mode, a leader’s success lies with his ability to generate emotional charge among his men, where people feel self-urgency to stand for the purpose. In doing so, a leader has to carefully determine the needs of people and evaluate the context precisely. He has to take steps based on the emotional outlines of his people. A leader needs to win his men’s loyalty through physical, spiritual, and cultural attachment. A noble purpose, higher degree of love, respect, sacrifice, and pride are the cornerstones of such leadership. Hence, a leader has to present himself as an idol in front of his people. Most influential leaders of the world enjoyed the love of their men like a father, a guide, a preceptor, a guardian, and a mentor. Some leaders were so spirited that many of their people even accepted supreme sacrifice for the cause of love towards the leader. History records vast numbers of examples of such leaders who were successful in winning the hearts of their men. Spiritual enlightenment is essential for such an enduring leadership environment.
e. Norms and Culture. Human beings are primarily habit-based entities where most of the daily works of our life are the repetition of previous days. The way we walk, drive a car, talk, think, interact with people, or work in the office is governed mainly by our habits. A man who has a vast knowledge of honesty may not be the most honest person. Often, we find that people who work as religious teachers are sometimes violating religious commands. Indeed, it is not knowledge but the habit that controls our life. Habits make humans a kind of automated machine to move on. When people follow their habits, they follow as they love to do it both physically and psychologically. Habits are so powerful to command the human mind from within that people feel proud and self-motivated to follow it either unconsciously or with awareness. Habits are developed through practice and repetition in an overall environmental
framework where quality norms and cultures take the lead. The quality and the progress of any organization are thus primarily impacted by the habits of each member. Social habits mark the line between societies, and organizational habits make the difference between success and failure. Among all the power of command, control and leadership instrument, norms and cultures play the most crucial role as they pave the building blocks of each human habit.
Leaders need to maximize the power of habits through utilizing the best opportunity to build organizational norms and carefully monitor and safeguard the essential organizational cultures. Organizational cultures that match with prevailing social norms become stronger. Leaders need to critically evaluate the impacts of each ongoing practice within the organization, either formal or informal and ascertain the positive or negative influences of those practices. Leaders also need to carefully study and evaluate before some organizational system is introduced or modified. Behavioural science says, “Every human attitude has a meaning, and every behaviour has reasons.” It means that every human behaviour, attitude, life values are the construction of environmental inputs. Therefore, leaders must explore the essential norms and cultures that build constructive human habits for organizational mission, vision and orientation.
Learn the art of inspiring your men, know their needs, and tap into their emotions. Create hope and certainty among your people to enjoy their loyalty.