Human beings has passed through many ages : first, Hunter and gatherer age; second agriculture age; third Industrial age and fourth Information/Knowledge worker age. Current age is of Knowledge worker age. The top software developers are more productive than average software developers not by a factor of 10X or 100X or even 1000X but by 10,000X. (Believe in this words. Because it is not my own, it is words from former Microsoft CTO Nathan.)
There are many industrial age leaders and managers who are leading and managing (not really) many companies today. They are applying old industrial age fundamentals in current knowledge worker age. They are habituated to work with Industrial age production increasing techniques, performance measurement criteria, people controlling techniques. But these effective industrial age fundas are not going to work with current knowledge workers. You can control a mine worker by forcing him to work day and night but not knowledge worker.
Main thing of Industrial age were Machines. Peoples were necessary but replaceable. People was controllable with little consequences. People were like things. You could be efficient with them. Person's body was required not his heart or mind or soul. Some current leaders and managers are best suitable to and perfectly gets fit into industrial age leader requirement. If you fetch those leaders and put them to work in some industry, they will increase production drastically. But definitely they will fail miserably with knowledge workers. You requires different skill sets, mind sets to be efficient and effective with knowledge workers.
Some of the our current management practices come from Industrial age :
You have to control and manage people.
Peoples are expense and Machines are assets. Machine is investment.
Drive a people with stick of fear and punishment from behind by showing a carrot of reward from front.
People can be managed as things.
They don't understand that knowledge workers are self driven people, they are not required to be managed and if at all you try to, be ready for its consequences. They never thinks that by applying old fundamentals in this age he is wasting potentials of his knowledge workers, he is locking an ability of knowledge worker, he is killing a creativity. Only because loss and depreciation are measurable for Machines and loss of potential, creativity are not measurable, Machines are asset and people are expense.
Book, 8th Habit of highly effective people by Stephen Covey