Control, for the most part, is illusion.
What happens when you try to control something outside your control?
Control as manipulation:
Attempts to control things outside our power – like people – always results in manipulation.
- Bully. Threats, anger, belittling, and guilt are all bullying.
- Isolation. Hiding in the office is a childish attempt to control things you don’t like.
- Avoid or procrastinate. Avoidance is weakness grasping for control.
- Promote self-doubt. Insecure people are easily manipulated. Keep people uncertain, insecure, and in the dark.
- Limit. Make people feel their only options are acquiescence, agreement, and ratification.
- Punish or reward.
- Pressure. Set artificial deadlines for others, rather than with others, for example.
Successful leaders choose goals within their control:
Results are produced by behaviors.
Focus on behaviors that produce results.
Make commitments that describe behaviors.
- Result – close two sales. Goal – call ten clients.
- Result – build a positive culture with gratitude. Goal – give one personal affirmation every day.
- Result – maintain forward focus. Goal – end all conversations with, “What’s next.”
Don’t commit to goals that are outside your control.
Leadership goal: Engage in behaviors that enable others to take action.
Leaders ask themselves, “How do my behaviors influence others?”
The challenging questions of leadership include:
- What must I do? Don’t hide behind what you want others to do.
- Who do I aspire to become? Aspiration for others is often a distracting smoke screen.
- How might I serve in ways that energize, enable, and release others?
You can influence others; you can’t control them. Successful leaders focus on behaviors that influence the choices, commitments, and behaviors of others.
How might leaders focus more on behaviors within their control?