The headaches of having a command & control management style

In this modern society organisations who embrace collaboration and take on transitional leadership styles will succeed.  So why is the command and control management style still around?

Command and control management style will lead to disaster – who would want to stay in a firm with people barking orders at you?  However, it is the preferred and effective management style being used in emergency management agencies such as the police, firies, ambulance, SES and the army.  That is fair enough – If my life is in danger, I’d rather see someone barking orders at people to save my life, and for those people to respectfully obey and comply.

However, even emergency management agencies have administrative office staff who provides support to ensure the smooth operation of the agency, so how do you lead and manage this group of staff?  The challenge here is for the leader to be able to recognise a different management style is needed for the non-operational staff, and to be able to switch between the two styles depending on which group you are managing.

This is easier say than done.  The leader may have had a whole lifetime experience of living under the command and contol management style, it will be extremely hard for him/her to learn and switch to another.

In the end, the people who suffer are the supportive staff because no matter which agency you look at, they will always be the minority group in numbers, that plus they are not the core service operational staff, so they will always be overlooked and their needs if acknowledged at all, are not important.   Do you have any recommended readings on emerging management tactics for the emergency management sector that tackles this challenge?

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