January 12, 2010

The Limits of Authority

"The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far reaching consequence of submission to authority."

Stanley Milgram
20th century American psychologist

So, you want to be "in charge" but watch how much so you are.

At some point, exerting too much authority results in a lack of initiative on the part of those you lead.


  1. Managing does not mean telling those you manage how to do their job, but that's exactly what too many managers do. And when you do that too often, you kill initiative.

  2. What this and some of the other posts relating to "how much to manage" are telling us is that the key is finding the right balance between managing too much and not enough. I've not thought enough about that before but the more I do I can see that is not easy to do.