If you’ve been thinking about launching your own little start-up dictator company, perhaps a ‘Dictators ‘R Us’, the trend would encourage you to reconsider. It’s not a good time to be in the dictator business.

Dictator Gadhafi’s reign in Libya now seems in jeopardy. Since his fall follows those of the dictators around him, one has to wonder: Who’s next?

Controlling other people is risky business. “I’ll decide what’s good for you. I’ll determine what you should think, say and do. And, I’ll determine how you get to express yourself.” The human spirit isn’t built to endure prolonged captivity.

Now, with the advent of social media, “the regular guy” doesn’t need his resident dictator to communicate and coordinate with other deprived souls. Today, it’s just a bit easier to be free.

One might think that in business we’re years removed from the dictator-driven sweat-shops of old. But are we? The word “dictator” has many synonyms, including ruler, tyrant and autocrat. The greatest evidence that such an “I-make-the-decisions-around-here” management approach still flourishes is the fact that so many companies are having a difficult time changing and keeping pace with society.

We’re not suggesting that the reader is a dictator (in fact, experience shows that the most mindful leaders read posts like this one.) And, we’re not proposing that companies develop democratic systems. (Talk about slow.) In fact, we’re suggesting that all politics be banished from business. And instead, a culture be further developed that A) allows people to be who they really want to be (great), and B) utilizes an effective change model.

What would that change model look like? If millions of people can rally, coordinate, and come together around a single idea in deprived countries, what is possible – how fast could your company move – if people were given the chance to be…(shall we say it?)…free?

P.S. Here’s a suggestion. Don’t wait for the annual employees’ survey to hear what your employees think. Ask them today, “To what extent do people feel they have a voice on our team?” And, “What can we do right now to move ideas forward faster?”

Please share your thoughts below.
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