Stepping into an Open Field

Controlling leaders hold back talent, push down, and under utilize.

Wouldn’t you love to work with a leader who led you into an open field? Wouldn’t it be great if you were one?

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Controlling leaders are:

  1. Self-protective.
  2. Self-promoting.
  3. Talkative, but don’t listen.
  4. Problem-centric. Controlling leaders focus on weaknesses and faults, while neglecting wins, strengths, and talents.

An open field:

We just asked a new person to develop some videos. We could have laid out all the rules and guidelines. But instead, we told her the goal and let her walk into an open field. She came back with something unexpected and fun.

Liberators go further than control freaks.

12 ways to create open fields:

  1. Prioritize releasing. Minimize controlling.
  2. Explain goals and outcomes, not the path forward.
  3. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of every teammate. Keep people in their strength zone.
  4. Expect people to bring their best if you give them an open field. Establish incremental goals with short timelines.
  5. Deal with drifters quickly. Avoid the pitfall of giving too many chances. In the end, too much compassion is painful.
  6. Release people from your aspirations for them. Embrace their aspirations for themselves. If their aspirations don’t align with your organization, help them move on.
  7. Keep everyone focused on serving, rather than being served. The more you give the wider life becomes.
  8. Align people with work that gives them energy.
  9. Connect with and serve other departments within your organization. Silos narrow the playing field.
  10. Explore frustrations, don’t minimize them. An open field of opportunity lies on the other side of frustration.
  11. Provide learning opportunities. Encourage people to try new things.
  12. Listen to outsiders. Cool stuff feels uncomfortable at first.

How might leaders liberate rather than hold-back?

What are key success factors for leaders who liberate rather than control.