Should leaders encourage love or fear?

Leadership advice

Should we love or have fear from a leader? This reminds me of Niccolo Machiavelli who asked the same question long time ago. During all these years ” fear” was a dominant model in various societies for example at school, governments,home, work environment and so on. In factories,strict rules dictated to workers in order to increase their productivity metrics. At offices fearful employees could not put on a good face for customers. In advertising field, there were tight controls which decreased creativity.


The fear from authorities has been a dominative factor even until present day. In developed countries many leaders rely on fear and their employees continue to put up with it. They rationalize the fear model as “just the way things are done around here”. Why some employees put up with it? Because they feel a sense of pride in toughing it out. Some people would rather to just follow the rules. Some believe that with a strong boss, they may be pushed beyond the limits. In some circumstances they still call for fear-based style for leadership where a person wants to discourage risky behavior.

In some countries, leaders are autocratic, rude and insulting. Because they can inspire great respect if they are autocratic and at the same time have genuine care about the people working for them.You may find such leaders in sport for instance coaches. Some of them are demanding and marked with harshness and intimidating behavior. Despite these facts, such coaches inspire tremendous loyalty and even love!The team are aware of their care and concern.

Should leaders create fear in their working environment? The answer is obviously no. Leading by force and intimidation has its downsides. A violent behavior comes from inability. A dominant style cannot possibly lead a company toward success and productivity. So should a leader take a softer approach? No. Because a softer behavior is equally ineffective and inauthentic.

Many industrial companies in Norway have fear from bankruptcy. This is why they invest in buying new technology. They do not rely on employing foreign and immigrants, however if they do not find the experts among Norwegians, only then they hire non-Norwegians. This is due to the spirit of xenophobia among them. They all know it, they just don’t talk about it. All you see is the positive remarks about Norway in media.

Norwegian government spend a lot of money every year to hide the spirit of xenophobia among Norwegians from International media and press. Let’s search online, how many articles and sources do you find about racism in Norway and racism among Norwegian employers in Norway? Next to none. Does this mean it doesn’t exist? Far from it. Why Norwegians are skeptical when it comes to hiring immigrants and foreigners? Because they are more comfortable with hiring Norwegians. It saves them headaches so to speak. They simply don’t get non-Norwegians. How many articles both in Norwegian and/ or any other languages have you found related to the truth about Janteloven? What is Janteloven? It is a law among Scandinavians which says you are not better than us! It is a pattern of group behavior towards individuals within Scandinavian communities that negatively portrays and criticizes individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate. This means if they see a talented individual among them, they will not let him/her to succeed. It is intimidating to see someone has more knowledge and expertise than them. If they really need a foreign expertise within educational sector or oil industry, only then they hire him or her.This is why many non-Norwegians leave Norway after a few years living in the country.

In fact Janteloven (the law of Jante) was one of the reasons that Anders Brevik murdered young Norwegians in Utoya a few years ago. Nationalism is a dangerous thing when some evil minded people use it as a weapon. The truth is that militant nationalism becomes a weapon of imperialist in today’s world.Back to management. Bad management leads a company to disastrous results. Why most of the leaders and managers cannot do their job right despite of all those meetings and once awhile courses that their company arrange for them? The reason is that in Norway most of the millstones and strategies are taken from the U.S.A. Every company in every country should tailor their management strategies based on their own culture, economy, work environment and systems.

An American work environment is way different from the Norwegian one. If a person with an American spirit works at a Norwegian company, he or she will be isolated by the other Norwegian coworkers.There are certainly exceptions. For example: If a manager at a Norwegian insurance company applies a strategy that belongs to an American management system, s/he is putting the company’s economy system in a major problem and as a result failure.

This is why many Norwegian companies declare bankruptcy. Following the same old strategies may cause future problem at an organization. You should be open to change within your organization. Managers and leaders should learn to take a solid, liberal and democratic approach in their management decision in order to succeed.

Managers must apply an approach that suits well in their own work environment and culture.

In conclusion it is fair to say that the future of a company relies on their good management system and management strategy. This approach may reduce partially an unemployment and economic problem.

Successful leaders adopt their style accordingly.

It is unimportant for a leader to be feared. A good leader should focus on increasing their company’s productivity, decrease their annual spending budget and creating a good work environment.

Leadership strategy