How to Control Your Control Freak

ABCs for leaders - C

Control freaks are bullies even when they smile. Anything less than compliance offends them.

You’re a control freak if you:

  1. Believe perfectionism is the same as excellence.
  2. Get irritated when people don’t adapt to you.
  3. Possess irritating tenacity.
  4. Know better and can do better than others.
  5. Nitpick and intervene.
  6. Monopolize conversations and interrupt.
  7. Get in other people’s business.

Bonus: Control freaks panic when they feel control going to others.

6 Ways to control your control freak:

  1. Authorize someone on your team to confront you when you’re controlling. Give them permission to point out controlling language, postures, and behaviors.
  2. Ask more; command less.
  3. Adapt to and align with others. Adapting is weakness and failure to control freaks. Everything’s a contest.
  4. Speak for yourself not others. Control freaks won’t speak from their hearts and won’t let others speak from theirs either. Say what you really think.
  5. Monitor and reject fear-based decisions. Control freaks are fearful. Fear is best for maintaining and protecting. Courage innovates.
  6. Go with new ideas. Control freaks default to “no,” unless it’s their idea.

Control your control freak by having real conversations:

Control freaks can’t have conversations because conversations are with not to.

Control ends conversation.

Control freaks can’t listen. They’re constantly wondering how to get what they want.

Candor and control:

Control freaks aren’t candid, they manipulate.

Candor takes courage to own hard things
not just say hard things.

Types of leadership conversations

  1. Connect. Close the distance. Embrace casual; reject corporate-speak.
  2. Correct or confront.
  3. Create.
  4. Collaborate. Plan with not for.


Rose Fass, author of, “The Chocolate Conversation,” believes conversations are the single factor that determines success or failure in big business today. Fass on the purpose of conversations and more (3:57):

For a longer list of important “C’s” for leaders visit the Leadership Freak Facebook page (7/3/2013).

How can leaders learn to control their inner control freak?

How can leaders improve their conversation skills?

Add important leadership words that begin with “D” on Facebook for tomorrow’s post.