Top B2B Blogs

B2B Marketing

Featured Author on Business 2 Community

AG on IT Marketing World

Subscribe by Email

Your email:

Browse by Tag

Sales Prospecting Perspectives

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Respect Vs. Fear - How Do You Prefer To Be Managed?


I was watching one of my favorite mafia movies this weekend called A Bronx Tale. The basic premise...for those of you who are unfamiliar, is centered around a young impressionable kid growing up in the Bronx who gets taken under the wing of the neighborhood mob boss. At one point during the movie the kid, Cologero, asks the boss Sonny, an interesting question:

“Is it better to be loved or feared?”

Of course the mob bosses' response is he would rather be feared because it "lasts longer".

This got me to thinking about all of the wonderful managers I’ve worked with over the years. Were they the types that would prefer to be loved (or a more suitable term for the work place) respected vs. feared?

I asked around to my fellow managers, my employees and even the president posing the same question. Each and every person had the same response - they would prefer to be respected.(Though my president did say "respectfully feared" with a sly smirk on his face...) I then asked them to give me some understanding of how their previous managers operated. Most of them could come up with more than a few examples of their days under managers who leveraged fear as a way to push their people. Unfortunately that is the kind of work experience that is burned into our memory.

For me the obvious answer is also to be respected. I can draw on many situations that alarmingly large percentages of bosses and companies I worked for seem to manage through fear. Guess what? I was miserable at each and every one of those companies. It didn’t matter if you were their worst employee or their top producer. It didn’t seem to matter to them that I was going out of my way to add value every day. I got the sense that if I didn’t show that value it wouldn’t have made a difference in how they treated me. Inevitably I grew pretty apathetic about job.

Why has it become acceptable that more than just a few companies have come to inherit the mentality of a mob boss? (less the whole murder thing) I understand that times are tough and we all have to work a bit harder, but no job is worth going to every day if we are in constant fear that we'll lose our job if we're slightly off the mark on our monthly goal. By all means, little intimidation may be necessary in order to motivate the talented slacker on occasion, but in my opinion it should not be your “go to” approach in order to motivate your people. Unless you're alright with constant turnover, I suppose you’re using the right technique. ...but If you're concerned at all about morale and are looking to cultivate your people...seriously...consider changing up your approach. 

From what I've seen, if you treat your employees with respect, then more often than not they'll return the favor. Most of the folks I polled all agreed that, that approach helps to contribute to their job satisfaction at AG.

So, how would you classify yourself? If you were to sum up your style, what would it be? What are you doing to “motivate” your team?


There are no comments on this article.
Comments have been closed for this article.