209 – Respectful Authority Has Respected

No one who has truly learned to respect authority will argue. They won’t argue with their leaders. They won’t argue with their subordinates. They won’t argue.

The basics of command structure start with knowing what battles to choose, including inside baseball. When someone has a decision to make, and that person makes the decision, then the decision is made. If there are facts or other information the person doesn’t know, then those above and below in the command structure will inform that decision-maker. Interruptions are welcome if they advise, whether from above or below. But, once the information and facts are known, the decision-maker must make the decision. Then, it is final. Even if it wrong, discussion it won’t help.

Continuing discussion without any affect on decision is called a filibuster; it is a tactic of legislative bodies with warring parties. In a filibuster, people keep talking because they don’t like the decision, so they hope to delay the decision—forever if possible. But, in a command structure, that can’t work. In a family, a company, organization, or military—a filibuster is immature. Many argue that a filibuster is also immature in a legislature, but then legislators are often accused of being immature as well as dishonest. But, I digress.

Stay on topic. When the decision is made, it’s finished. That is true whether it is your decision or someone else’s. Don’t be rude about it. In fact, one sign of maturity is to be kind when you tell someone that a decision is already made—whether it is your decision or not.

Mature leaders do not argue with those under them. Someone who respects authority knows to respect oneself when one has the place of authority. Never trust a leader who argues, resents, or is irritated by subordinates. That leader doesn’t understand respect for authority, yet such leaders are likely to talk about “respect” often. More importantly, make sure that you never become that leader.

Learn to identify and then to accept when the decision is already made. Move on to other topics. Finish the job. Fix problems with the decisions that are within your power. Respect-worthy people don’t argue once decisions are passed.