4 Powers of Surrender for Leaders

You’re dead if surrender is easy. How can you tell if a person is a control freak? They’re breathing.

You might be a control freak if:

  1. You rearrange the dishwasher after someone else loads it.
  2. Your spice drawer is alphabetized.
  3. You reposition rugs, lampshades, or books on the shelf.
  4. You park in the middle of two parking spots to protect your car.
  5. You push the gas and brake pedals while someone else is driving.
  6. You’re surrounded by idiots.
  7. You think everyone else is controlling.
Surrender cures control freaks. Image of two open palms.

4 Powers of surrender:

  1. Delegating is empowering.
  2. Relationships get real when you stop manipulating people.
  3. Stress grows wings when you live with a loose grip.
  4. Performance soars when you don’t obsess over minor details.

Work is filled with friction when you’re a control freak. Small is big and insignificant is important when your way is the right way.

The bad news is control freaks are irritated by trivialities. You beat yourself down for small imperfections and human realities. The good news is surrender isn’t passive.

Letting go is an iterative process. Butterfly sitting on frog's head. Letting go is an iterative process.

Power of letting go:

Surrender cures control freaks.

Living with an open hand is central in religious systems. Islam means submission. Judaism acknowledges God’s sovereignty. Christians surrender to God’s will. Hindus let go attachments to achieve oneness. But you don’t have to believe in God to practice surrender. Buddhists believe surrender ends suffering.

Let go things you can’t control so you can grapple with self-control.

Let go:

  1. The need to be right so you can learn.
  2. The need to tweak everything so you can climb new heights.
  3. The need to make all the decisions so you can enjoy freedom.

Begin in your mind. Imagine yourself letting go. Next, use your words. Craft three sentences you can use today that express letting go of control.

What does learning to let go look like for you today?

Still curious:

How to Survive and Thrive in Imperfect Organizations (90 second read.)

Three Things You Must Let Go (90 second read)

How Leaders Can Let Go Without Losing Control (hbr.org)