The Hard Manager

I have posted before about Steve Jobs’s management style of “Managing by walking around – and scaring people”. It would be cheeky to say that the Harvard Business Review has now caught up, but David Aaker also blogged about it yesterday here. He makes a comparison with Bobby Knight, a basketball coach with a similar style, and also highly successful. Perhaps a British comparison would be with Sir Alex Ferguson (or maybe not).

It is clear that despite being “old school” these two are very successful leaders. It is a cliche that we are all different, both leaders and followers. And to some extent, the people who put up with this leadership style are the people who put up with it. The others move on.

Yet they are not seen as bullies. Why not? Partly because they succeed, partly because there is a vision that they are pursuing. But also because it seems that they are “just like that” – and so with everyone. They do not play favorites, or pick on some people, not others.

There is a health warning: this leadership style can easily be counterproductive, if it is not natural to that individual, or if the factors set out by Aaker (and probably one or two more) are not present.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s