Project managers often have to exercise influence without authority. We can’t always get what you want from people over whom you have no authority. We end up doing a lot of horse trading — offering what you have that the other person desires in exchange for what you need from them to be successful. Such bargaining can be time-consuming and frustrating, but we accept it as part of the project world.
However, when project managers get formal authority, some become tempted to exercise it constantly. Former master negotiators become “take it or leave it” leaders. They don’t care what others think, so long as they obey.
That’s where the quote comes in. It sounds powerful and commanding… until you realize who was credited with saying it. For Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus is better known as Caligula. Not exactly a role model for leadership (or longevity), eh?