It’s no secret. I like to be in control. I like to be in charge. And as a leader I’m naturally wired for this. The danger for me is what I consider another “grey” leadership issue.
As a leader (who is prone to control), one of the most grey issues for me is knowing when I am controlling rather than guiding with clear direction. As the leader I am responsible for casting the vision and helping the staff stay in alignment with it. This means that I have to give clear guidance in decision making so that the organization stays in line with vision. The challenge is that oftentimes rather than giving guidance I tend to control or dictate. I know the danger of misalignment and that we are always one decision away from starting to veer from it, so I want to control tightly instead of empowering other leaders in the organization to make decisions.
Controlling is the default. It’s a fear-based reaction.
As leaders I think we have to recognize this tension in ourselves and consciously choose guiding vs. controlling.
By guiding you help your team learn HOW to make decisions that are consistent with vision. By controlling you never give them this option. They simply become your mouthpiece (and they become bitter, frustrated & unmotivated because of it).
Agree? Disagree? Please tell me I’m not alone on this one.