>Make someone work harder by asserting power or authority
>Put a person under pressure to do a job or be obedient
>Harshly push someone (usually your staff) to do more
>Demand or bully someone to work harder, faster, or more efficiently
This comes from the literal crack of a whip above the horse’s heads as they pulled wagons. The loud noise startles them to attention or makes them go faster.
We’d better get some work done, or he’ll crack the whip when he gets back from his tea break.
The new officer is cracking the whip against significant rule violations.