The business we're in is more sociological than technological, more dependent on workers' abilities to communicate with each other than their abilities to communicate with machines.
Good management is the lifeblood of the healthy corporate body. Getting rid of it to save cost is like losing weight by giving blood.
Any vigorous competition will entail at least two elements: offense and defense. Offense is the effort you put into scoring against your opponents, and defense is the effort you apply to stop them from scoring against you. Those who suggest that a little healthy competition can't hurt are thinking only of the offense part....The offense component of internal competition is problematic, but the defense component is always injurious. When peer managers play defense against each other (try to stop each other from scoring), they are engaging in anticooperation.
There is no such thing as healthy competition within a knowledge organization; all internal competition is destructive. The nature of our work is that it cannot be done by any single person in isolation. Knowledge work is by definition collaborative.
Managers who inspire extraordinary loyalty from their people tend to be highly charismatic, humorous, good-looking, and tall. So, by all means, strive to be those things. If you don't feel able to improve any of those factors very much, you might consider holding on to your people by designing a little slack into their lives.
The best predictor of how much work a knowledge worker will accomplish is not the hours that he or she spends, but the days. The twelve-hour days don't accomplish any more than the eight-hour days. Overtime is a wash.