• Kenneth Iverson


Final excerpt from 'Plain Talk: Lessons from a Business Maverick' by Kenneth Iverson, credited with transforming Nucor Steel from a nearly bankrupt company in the 1960s into the largest and most successful steelmaker in the United States.

The Hazards of Hierarchical Power

'Inexperienced managers tend to lean heavily on formal, hierarchical sources of authority. This is understandable. They have not yet had the opportunity to develop other forms of authority such as experience, expertise, and seniority.

'The problem is, young managers don’t often comprehend the hazards of hierarchical power.

'They do not understand that, by setting themselves above and apart from their employees, they may actually be digging themselves into a hole. I think it is only fair, then, that we warn inexperienced managers of the hazards of hierarchical power.'

Principles of Equitable Treatment

'Few managers receive much in the way of explicit instruction in the principles of equitable treatment of employees, either in business school or in the course of management development. All too often, managers fill that vacuum with their own self serving precepts of what is equitable.

'A few common- sense principles, clearly stated and strongly advocated in the business schools, could make the business world a better, more equitable place for employees and managers alike.'

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