No one likes to work in a company run by a leader with a dictator’s mindset. Just like in countries run by despots, there is always simmering discontent bubbling under the surface. Fear can be an effective motivator especially in the short-term, but you will never get someone’s best effort. And, in the long run, revolutionaries will start to emerge and people will find small ways to sabotage your efforts. Organizational energy ends up being channeled in increasingly dysfunctional ways. Moreover, the people that dictators put in leadership positions tend to be more sinister and less capable than themselves creating even more problems. It is all a recipe for disaster.
What made American industry great was that we had a solid albeit often informal contract between employer and employee. If you show up, put in your dues and do a good job, we will take care of you economically and provide a sense of security around your professional and personal well being. Hang in there and stay the course and there will be opportunities for advancement. We will also create a safety net to catch you when you fall and/or have to deal with challenging life issues. The overarching theme being that we are all in this together and should make the best of it. It is also why we created the largest middle class ever known to mankind and put great distance between ourselves and other economies in the world.