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When command and control were in fashion

Today’s successful leaders don’t lose sight of any part of the business. They don’t depend on delegation as a means for them to take a back seat.


February 7, 2013 11:09 by

In the past the image of a successful leader was someone that had total control and authority over their subordinates. What they said was everyone’s command. People inspired by the wisdom of the leader would spare no effort to execute the very wishes of their leader. Command and control were in fashion.

Then we realised that people who have passion and drive can go on to form their own leadership if empowered and given the room to excel. They would collaborate with other like minded passionate people and lead from within the trenches. So delegation and ‘soft’ human resource management was the fad leading to full decentralisation of control.

The challenge is that not everyone wants to be a leader and many people would need guidance, role models, and inspiration. On the other hand, very few people have the skills, passion and drive to lead others to success.

Today’s successful leader is one that pushes the talent around them to perform at their best, inspiring them to excel at what they do. On the other hand, they empower their teams to do what is needed to perform well and give an opportunity to those with the leadership ambition and talent to rise to the occasion.

But today’s successful leaders don’t lose sight of any part of the business. They don’t depend on delegation as a means for them to take a back seat. This is why performance management is a key function of today’s leadership toolset where in addition to inspiration, effective leaders follow up to make sure that everyone is rowing in the same direction and rowing at their optimal performance.

So the mix of Centralized and De-Centralized leadership styles is a key requirement for success. Today’s leaders need to inspire their teams and clients like pop stars sweep their fans off their feet, and they have the challenge of getting all those fans to realize their potential and perform at their best in line with the organization’s vision and mission.

Shadi Banna is the Co-founder of, a company aimed at developing entrepreneurial culture, training and coaching for SMEs and Start-ups in the region.


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