Exercising Control, or Abusing It?

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exercising control

Exercising Control, or Abusing It?

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Are you or other team members exercising control? Is someone abusing it?

A popular small business job title is, Controller. Typically, an accounting or finance person who skillfully provides accounting and operational expertise.

Climate of Leadership

In today’s business climate leadership is often not about authority, it is about skillful navigation that creates a compelling call-to-action.

Forcing people to follow is about pushing. People are pushed to do more work, have better quality, and exceed customer expectations. Push is often a, “do it, or die” approach. It’s about formal control.

A different method, a better method, involves pull. Pull is about people following with an interest and a goal. They are motivated and engaged because they believe as much in the cause as you do.

Passion is an emotion. People follow their passion.

Great leaders help stimulate this kind of environment. It’s in their tone, their body language, and the words they choose.

Their actions speak even louder.

Does the culture of your organization require control? Are people pushed or are they pulled? Are they following at will, or are they fearful of the consequences?

Exercising Control

Yes, many business ventures can benefit from a controller. It is wise to have this type of person in place. The right person in this role can demonstrate their value and worth.

Can things go too far?

Absolutely they can.

Can the wrong cultural attributes create more negative and unwanted results?

Absolutely they can.

People like to decide for themselves. When they decide to follow, it is a choice. A choice they make.

It is a powerful form of pull.

Every leader, regardless of job title, salary, or office size, should demonstrate a style that encourages and embraces a compelling call-to-action.

Nobody really likes to be pushed. Worse yet, nobody wants a shove.

Don’t confuse job titles or authority with leadership competence.

People with organizational authority need to lead. Attempting to control others through fear, intimidation, or bullying is an abusive state.

It’s not leadership.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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