It pains me to realize that Authoritative Leadership still exists in corporate culture; I once experienced this and it absolutely suffocated my creativity. However, taking the high road, I am grateful for having the opportunity to feel it first hand and now share my insights with you. While I seek to help C-Suite Leaders of tomorrow and give you tools to navigate such challenges, today I turn my focus to the C-Suite Leaders of today who may be in such an environment and have the power to make a difference. 

Seek to understand why Authoritative Leadership exists in your organization.

Whenever I’m befuddled to understand a situation that is misaligned with my values, I seek to understand why it existed in the first place. We can’t change the future unless we study history and understand the past. In my situation, the industry was highly regulated and risk averse. The business had been burnt many times for which strict adherence to protocol was imperative to survival. Given this insight, I ask you – how you can maintain strict protocols while maintaining employee engagement and creativity?

Educate and guide when to stay in the lines and when to go outside.

When I came to the new opportunity, I was full of ideas on how to improve the situation. My enthusiasm was quickly dampened when I was told to “stay within the lines.” I was shocked and dismayed to know I could not bring my creativity to the situation. I was simply a warm body to execute a transaction. This is frustrating to an employee and may quickly lead to their exit. Consider instead to share where there is freedom to bring new ideas. This helps people to understand the important protocols for business survivability, but also those where people can contribute to growth. The heavy fist should be replaced by education and guidance for the employee.

Feedback, Feedback, Feedback

Did I mention feedback is important? When I was in meetings, I constantly heard people present proposals, but with a tone of uncertainty in their delivery. It was as if, individuals were afraid to voice their opinion for fear of being taken off line and admonished. If they presented everything as a question, they would be safe. Instead, I propose that we provide feedback to individuals on how to present information in a way that is positive and how they can improve while staying within the guidelines that keep the company safe. Employees will grow to respect the company because they cared and will protect it in how they navigate the landscape.

So I turn to you if you are a leader in a highly regulated or authoritative organization; do you provide a safe environment for people to thrive and contribute? Your behavior can make the difference between stability or high turn-over. If your leadership is not authoritative, but you see it in your peers, could you have a conversation with them to evolve the culture to one that is not authoritative. Are you ready to make a difference in the company culture to make a lasting impact on the company and on individuals in your care?

I’ve shared my story with you, now I ask you, will you share your story? I’m here to listen. 

My wish is for every C-Suite Leader of today and tomorrow to navigate their careers with confidence. If this insight was helpful, share this article with others. If you have a unique challenge and wish to have a complementary conversation, please reach out to me

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P.S. The C-Suite academy enrollment is open. This experience starts August 22nd. Enrollment ends August 15th.