The opposite of command

In terms of management, the opposite of command is not freedom.

Freedom is an excuse beyond which many bad managers take cover. You are free to choose what you learn. You are free to come to the office or not. You are free to talk to whoever you feel like talking to.

Freedom, for most of us at least, is also a given. You are not differentiating your organisation by allowing me to learn, move, talk.

So, the opposite of command is not freedom.

The opposite of command is care.

I care, and that’s why we should talk about your strengths, ambitions, the opportunities we offer, the opportunities the market offers. I care and I will help you get there.

I care, and that’s why I have researched the topic and found that this is the most effective way to coordinate hybrid work. I care and I will guarantee your safety (physical and mental) and that of your colleagues.

I care, and that’s why I have prepared a list of people you should talk to regarding this project. I care and I will be with you as you seek buy-in to move this forward.

Care is what people seek. Care is what retains talent. Care is the differentiator.

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