Here’s a great article by Ron Edmondson about “controlling leaders” who exert an over-bearing influence on everything that happens around them. The author has 20 years of business experience and considerable wisdom about how leaders should operate.
Here’s the 7 bullet points that Ron says leaders should recognize.
- Your team struggles to share new ideas
- You think you’re wonderful
- You always know you’re right
- You control information
- You are part of every decision
- You can’t let go of the reins
- You ARE the final authority—on every decision
I regularly talk to young leaders through my blog, and many of them feel they are working for a controlling leader.
In a recent post, I talked about the three results of controlling leadership.
In full disclosure, one of my top strengths on the StrengthsFinder assessment is COMMAND. I’ll take over if no one else in the room will—so some of the young leaders on my team may have felt that way about me at times. I have to discipline myself not to be a controlling leader.
But it’s a value for me personally not to be one, so I consistently try to evaluate. (And I’ve let teams I lead evaluate me.) And also granted, as I’ve posted previously, I believe there are some things a leader needs to control—especially early in their leadership. For example, I have controlled (or micromanaged) the hiring of key staff members during my beginning years of church revitalization. We are changing a culture. I am building a team—one I don’t have to control. And that’s worked well so far.
The odd thing I find is that many controlling leaders never really know they are one. They may actually even believe they are being good leaders—making sure things go well for the organization.
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