Relics of Bygone Eras - The "Because I Told You So"


Related Fun Fact of the Week: In the Vietnam War, the majority of soldiers couldn’t make a move, shoot their gun, or do much of anything unless several rungs about them on the “command and control” ladder told them they could do so. Many statements from former veterans play out something like this: We knew where the enemy was, but we couldn’t pursue him. And when we fought him, we couldn’t kill him.”

In today’s business environment of rapid change, we can certainly see how this lack agility from a command and control environment would be a major hindrance within companies!

As a child, how many of us heard the response “Because I told you so!” when you asked why you had to do something? Nearly all of us have, at one time or another, heard those dreaded words growing up. That response has its origins from a bygone era when performance either at home or in the workplace was administered through command and control.

Certainly success can be achieved with a command and control performance model, but the actions and activities to achieve that success comes from complying with the demand rather than from a place of commitment and engagement to achieve a purpose.

Command and control was the prevalent style of management modeled and practiced after WWII, but has been on the decline since the 80’s. Still, some organizations and certain leaders manage in the past. The next generation leader doesn’t use command and control to manage their people. They inspire, enable, facilitate and develop their people and prevailing performance environments.

So now when someone asks you the “why” question, the answer is not, “Because I told you so!”. It is now an opportunity to connect with understanding, knowledge and a dialogue the engages, not demands.

Leadership is evolving and shifting, are you?

Want to know more on the shift in leadership? Contact us or take a look at our LeaderShift book or online course, complete with a guidebook that gives you a path for the evolving leader in today’s world.


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Cornerstone Learning is a performance and leadership consulting organization that has worked with clients all over the world. Our focus is working with individuals and organizations to create performance solutions that deliver top-tier results by inspiring, enabling, and developing employee-led, leader supported, and organization enabled performance. We are able to successfully deliver this through multiple products and services such as employee surveysonline training, performance assessments, and performance coaching. The goal at Cornerstone Learning is to assist our clients in enabling success by developing a dynamic and customized pathway to deliver role model organizational and personal performance.