10 Myths Series: Myth 2 - It Creates Anarchy

Viewed from this perspective, anarchy is something that even traditional leaders would want to work for. Not something to be scared of. This is anarchy that uses the different atoms of employees to work together towards a common goal. Can you let go of your illusion of control and let your company be run by a group of superior self-managed employees?

Christian Wandeler·August 16, 2021·3 min read

Are you a leader who fears anarchy?

Merriam-Webster defines anarchy as the “absence or denial of any authority or established order” or simply the “absence of order.”

This is why many leaders fear anarchy.

It supposedly promotes insubordination and a lack of respect for those in authority. And no leader wants that.

Traditional leaders use this fear of lawlessness to their advantage. They bring down progressive ideas like democracy. They also spread many false assumptions that somehow people believe.

Like myth 2: it creates anarchy.

Business maverick Ricardo Semler believes that this is a silly notion.

People’s need for control

Humans have a deeply-seated need for certainty and control.

We always want to know what’s happening all the time.

If we don’t, we equate it with loss of control.

Again, for many leaders, this is a very scary matter.

If nobody listens to or follows the leader’s orders, what will happen to a team? An organization? A country?

People will do whatever they want and leaders lose control.

Full control is not real

What these traditional leaders forget is that no one can fully control their surroundings.

The impression that we know everything and can control all external factors is only a semblance or illusion of control.

For organizations, seeking to control people leads to micromanagement and conflict. How would you feel if someone tried to control how you think? What do you do? Where do you go?

Self-management is real

The only thing we can fully control is ourselves.

Even complex concepts like warfare, biology or traffic can be self-managed depending on how we react to them. There is the famous example of the roundabout in Swindon, known as the Magic Roundabout, which is successful in throughput as well as safety—drivers can self-manage and choose the shortest paths and spend less time inside, which reduces the number of vehicles inside and thereby increases the throughput.

But let’s go back to an organization.

Imagine you’re contracting for a deliverable or a product. If everyone on the team doesn't self-manage then that would be anarchy.

But if you believe that everyone in your team is a working adult then you will allow them leeway for self-management.

Adults who say they will do something are far more organized and far more controlled than it seems.

Anarchy defined further

Merriam-Webster considers “anarchy” as the perfect example of how words can have different meanings in various contexts.

A further definition of the term is: “the aggregate of those believed to be superior.”

In other words, a group of excellent, high-performing employees.

Viewed from this perspective, anarchy is something that even traditional leaders would want to work for. Not something to be scared of.

This is anarchy that uses the different atoms of employees to work together towards a common goal.

Can you let go of your illusion of control and let your company be run by a group of superior self-managed employees?

If you’re ready, click here and bust all 10 myths from your management and organization.

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