It’s an expensive confusion.
We organize our schools around obedience. Tests, comportment, the very structure of the day is about training young people to follow instructions.
We organize our companies around obedience as well. From the resume we use to hire to the training programs to the annual budgets, revenue targets and reviews we create, the model employee is someone who does what he’s told.
And the rationale for this appears to be that at some point, obedience transforms into self-control. That at some point, people start obeying themselves and become leaders. Self-control is without a doubt one of the building blocks of success, a key element of any career worth talking about. We need self-control if we’re going to make a difference.
But help me understand why obedience is the way to get there? Compliant sergeants rarely become great generals.