CADDManager on June 15th, 2011
This entry is part 3 of 17 in the series Principles of CAD Management

Authority, according to Fayol, is the principle that managers have the right to give orders with the expectation of obedience.

Authority is something that is granted to people.  I believe that all authority is good is granted.  Authority can be demanded, taken or usurped, but in order for it to really work for the betterment,it is usually granted.

Where does authority come from?

It comes from organizations via the title and position that is given.  It comes from others (apart from title) based on them allowing you to lead and rule over them.  Some attempt to demand authority, but it really is up to those around the person to either reinforce that authority or to rebel against it.  We see this all the time in groups and team as they elect leaders and also in in nations as the people elect rulers and governors over them.  The negative side is despots and tyrants who extract obedience thru oppressive means.

In today’s firms we hopefully do not see much tyrannical rule,but it happens sometimes on a smaller scale.  Some person exercises overbearing and micromanaging efforts that annoy and frustrate others.  They create domains for themselves that require some form of entry fee (do it my way) in order to participate.

Authority, when properly expressed, works with a teams strengths to make things happen.  It does not become overbearing.  It is authority that is granted to the person because the team sees the benefit in leadership.

Who can give orders?

CAD Managers have the right to give orders, but not like a ships captain who barks out demands that may end in “walking the plank” if they are disobeyed.  They work positively with others to make team progress.  There may be times when they need to enforce the guidelines and when that happens there should be a reasonable expectation of compliance.

Those who gave the title and position should back up the CAD Managers authority and not undermine it.  They should support the decisions made and seek compliance from those that are working in CAD.  I have seen too many Project Managers that have not done this and actually encourage their teams to break the rules because they personally do not agree with the guidelines.  This is not good and the CAD Managers superiors should assist in correcting this behavior.

Authority rests on the shoulders of the CAD Manager mainly because they have impressed others with their skill, decision-making ability, and people skills.  They have authority because they have earned it the opportunity and others have granted it to them.  Granted authority that works best comes from individual followers who grant it to their leaders.


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