Lately there has been lot of discussion on Nokia’s former leadership culture – management by fear. If I think about my 7 years’ history in the company I must partially agree. In challenging situations, we have a risk to fall into our stress functional behaviour. For some people it means stronger command and control culture – leading by fear.
But why would that happen when things are fine, and business is booming? A big difference comes from the dominant cultural stage in a company – is it “We are great, we succeed together” or “I am great, you are not, I make successes to take place – not you”. If we accept individual achievement & greatness culture we risk pulling others down into “My life sucks” level, which makes people to work the minimum without any drive or joy. When some leaders start to believe in their greatness and indispensability they forget others and how to make people to follow them naturally rather than forcing them to follow.
Continuous development of top leaders and management teams is crucial for all the companies. If the top management won’t walk the talk of people respecting and appreciating culture things won’t fly in other parts of the organization. We all need to work and develop together – nobody can do it alone.