When an employee feels more empowered there is a chance that a lot less work will actually get done. This is quite true; so the new procedure is to actually motivate the employees into seeing the same vision as the company. It takes a very special person to motivate the team members in this manner, and therefore the old ways just won't do. In essence, a manager needs the ability to lead without authority, or at least without the feat driven authority from the old days.
Making employees feel as if they are in control of their own destiny is important, and the first part of that is making them feel as if you being the manager are there for them. Let them know that you are willing to work with them. Make sure that they feel comfortable, and that they have all the things that they need. This doesn't mean that you make sure they have ridiculous things such as video game consoles or truckloads of spearmint gum, because this would make you slightly weakened in their viewpoint.
It is also very important that you display a sense of urgency, so that the employees really feel that it is important they complete their tasks on time. In order to do this, you need to make your employees understand how important it is for everything to be turned in on time and how important it is to the company. If you get everyone to think about the welfare of the company and to work as one, then things will move much more efficiently and you won't have to cause any sort of fear.
In the past, supervisors tended to be more close-minded. In today's world a supervisor needs to be more open minded and ready to learn new things, especially from the employees. If an employee offers you a piece of advice, you need to take it to heart and see if it can by applied to make the everyday function of the department more efficient.
Things have definitely changed over the years in business, of that there is no doubt. The old ways just will not work anymore, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. It just means that we need to adjust and try new things. Though it may require a lot more training for someone to be a good supervisor now, business will be a lot more efficient.