I've been confronted more than once recently that I like to be in control. This really isn't new information. I've always know that I am good at running the show. And it has served me well over the years. How can you run programs across multi sectors and large geographical regions without being in control? When being the chair- person of a large conference planning committee, you better believe I was in control; organizing, planning, delegating and really, keeping it all together. Raising a family of four children, I've needed to be in control of household chores, schedules and commitments. Did I do all of this alone? Hell no! And being in control of what was going on helped me. What is new information for me, is the reality of the impact this has on others.
Being in control, means that I expect others to do it my way. My kids, husband and staff over the years will tell you that I like people to come to my side, to see my views and while I hear their opinions, listen to their arguments and appear to be working collaboratively, I am becoming really aware that it's not truly been that way. The impact is that people give in and often they resent giving in. While they may follow me, there is frustration, irritation and annoyance on their part.
To give up control might look like someone else driving the boat for a while. For me it will be hard to trust that others can make choices about mutual journeys and to believe that even though it may not be the path that I have planned, it will be ok. I am aware though that by allowing someone else to take me on a new path, I will have the amazing ability to see new things. Potentially things that I didn't even know where there some times. Places I didn't know existed and that I never would have found doing it all my way.
As great leaders, one of the most difficult things is realizing that leaders aren't always in the front. Some of the greatest leaders in history where never in the front, not controlling and not making all the decisions AND they took their teams to great places. Really it is not about me as a leader or anyone else having control. It's about leading a team, a family, or a community group to work together and make joint decisions. Decisions we can all align around together, fully commit to and to move forward from there.
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
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