Leadership Lessons on Trust, Engagement, and Empowerment

Antoni Lacinai

Command and Control – the sign of weak leadership
And it is showing up in the return-to-the-office orders

Do you hire people based on their ability to contribute?
Or do you hire them based on their ability to commute?

I see too many signs of scared managers (not leaders) on different levels to CEOs.

→They don’t trust their team members
→They are scared of losing control
→They don’t know how to inspire
→They lack communication skills
→They think they are strong
→They intimidate people
→Watch them lose

So they force people back to the office. People who don’t feel trusted will soon start to find new, better managers and organizations to work for.

I am not saying that it’s a bad thing to meet your colleagues in 3D.
I am saying that it is stupid to think you increase engagement by forcing people to do things they don’t see the point in doing.

Give them reasons to come in
Give them tasks that are fulfilling
Give them the ability to do their job
Give them praise when they do good
Show them why collaboration is a key factor

Or don’t
Your choice
Here me sigh…

By Team Antoni Explains

Antoni Lacinai’s statement emphasizes the importance of effective leadership and the potential pitfalls of a command-and-control management style, particularly in the context of return-to-office orders. Let’s break down the key points:

“Command and Control – the sign of weak leadership”:

Lacinai suggests that relying on command-and-control tactics is indicative of weak leadership. This approach typically involves strict top-down management where leaders exert authority and micromanage their teams, rather than empowering them.

“Do you hire people based on their ability to contribute? Or do you hire them based on their ability to commute?”:

This question challenges the rationale behind returning employees to the office. Lacinai suggests that the decision should be based on employees’ ability to contribute effectively to their work, rather than on their proximity to the office.

Signs of scared managers, not leaders:

Lacinai observes several characteristics among managers that indicate fear and insecurity rather than effective leadership.

Lack of trust in team members
Fear of losing control
Inability to inspire or communicate effectively
False perception of strength through intimidation

Forcing people back to the office:

Lacinai criticizes the approach of mandating a return to the office without addressing the underlying issues of trust and engagement. This could lead to dissatisfaction among employees and prompt them to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Engagement through meaningful reasons:

Lacinai advocates for providing compelling reasons for employees to come into the office, such as fulfilling tasks, opportunities for praise, and fostering collaboration. Without these incentives, forcing employees to return may be counterproductive.

Freedom of choice:

Ultimately, Lacinai highlights that it’s up to leaders to decide how they want to approach the return to the office.

However, they should be aware of the consequences of their decisions on employee morale and retention.


Lacinai’s message underscores the importance of leadership qualities such as trust, communication, and empowerment in guiding organizations through transitions like returning to the office.

It warns against the pitfalls of authoritarian management styles and advocates for a more inclusive and engaging approach.

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