Fear Driven Management


Long story short suppose we have a big business structure. There is somebody at the very top (VT) who decides to begin a project. So he tells his subordinate colleagues (SC) what he wants. Depending on their experience they ask some questions and start the job.

Now watch my hands

So SC will do a thing or two. But some time later something unexpected happens. It always happens. And here is the scenario which I consider to be common:

  1. SC tries to resolve the issue on his own;
  2. he fails to resolve the issue on his own.

Then SC has two options:

  • to ask VT for help or advice (though it’s a bit late — he’s already failed);
  • to try and hide the undesired consequences.

Now guess what option is chosen more frequently? I don’t know, but let’s suppose SC has chosen the latter.


Imagine you are that very SC that we’ve just described above. You’ve already tried to hide the failure. Now you have to either confess that you not only failed but also lied about it or you can go on lying about it. And it’s a big project and you have your own SC’s and even outsource contractors.

This is where the conflict happens. You don’t have any additional resources (VT will know) and you can’t follow your previous agreements with your contractors because you have to cover your lies which often result in new or inconsistent requirements.

Common solution

So what’s the solution? You’ve seen it a whole lot of times. Just persuade your contractors to do what you want or make them feel fear too. May be let them make their own mistakes in order to manipulate them or make them feel guilty. This is also where black rhetorical methods take place. Depending on your contractors’ position they can either refuse to go on working with such a toxic person, reflect your strategy to their SCs or try to go on working according to your agreement and ignore your “mood”.

Anyway it’s a dangerous and highly inefficient way to cover one’s mistake.

Good solution

  1. Do not tell lies;
  2. admit your mistakes;
  3. learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them.

I believe that there is a place where people always avoid manipulative techniques and do what they love to do delivering benefits for their happy clients :)


I don’t think one can convince a particular Fear-Driven-Manager to break this vicious circle. But you can get yourself a decent amount of different clients to chose from.