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command performance

1. A performance, such as a play, ballet, opera, etc., that is presented at the behest of royalty or a head of government. The theater troupe was always at the ready to give a command performance, should the queen so desire it.
2. By extension, any task or activity (typically outside of normal work duties) that one undertakes or performs at the request of someone in a position of authority. When I was an intern, I always had to give command performances for visiting businessmen, such as taking them out to dinner or arranging entertainment for them during their stay.
3. Any obligatory occasion or situation that one is required or expected to attend, as at the behest of an employer or person of authority. These fundraising dinners, though technically "optional," are really command performances for the members of staff.
See also: command

chain of command

Fig. the series or sequence of holders of responsibility in a hierarchy. The only way to get things done in the military is to follow the chain of command. Never try to go straight to the top.
See also: chain, command, of

have a good command of something

to know something well. Bill has a good command of French. Jane has a good command of economic theory.
See also: command, good, have, of

He that cannot obey cannot command.

Prov. If you want to become a leader, you should first learn how to follow someone else. Jones can't seem to do anything I ask him to. He'll never get anywhere; he that cannot obey cannot command.
See also: cannot, command, he

command performance

An occasion that one is obliged to attend, as in My boss's invitations to dinner are always a command performance. This term originally (late 1800s) denoted a theatrical or musical performance presented at the behest of a sovereign or head of state. By the 1930s it was also used figuratively for any more or less obligatory occasion or performance.
See also: command

have a good command of

Have the ability to use or control; have mastery of. For example, She has a remarkably good command of Japanese, or He had a good command of his emotions. [Mid-1600s]
See also: command, good, have, of
References in periodicals archive ?
Mason, deputy commanding general, Army Field Support Command, with duty as commanding general, Army Materiel Command Forward-Southwest Asia/C-4, Coalition Forces Land Component Command, Kuwait, to commanding general, 19th Theater Support Command, Eighth Army, Korea.
Johnson is currently serving as commanding general, United States Army Field Support Command, Rock Island, Ill.
In her most recent assignment, Dunwoody was commanding general of the 1st Corps Support Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.
to commanding general, Picatinny Arsenal, Picatinny Arsenal, N.
First, the subordinate commands that used to work for the MTMC Commanding General and the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, in Alexandria, now report, operationally, to the Deputy Commanding General.
Previously, the command's two overseas groups reported directly to MTMC's Commanding General in Alexandria, Va.
In the new organization, Doomink has assumed the position of MTMC Deputy Commanding General and Director of Operations.
In the future, the Commanding General will transition to the Deputy Commanding General for Operations of MTMC .
In the future, MTMC's general officer at Fort Eustis will serve as both Deputy Commanding General and Director of Operations.
The centralization of operations functions under a Deputy Commanding General and Director of Operations, Headquarters MTMC, at Fort Eustis, Va.
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