Perhaps this sounds familiar?

Do it just like this. Copy me on the email. Constantly checking in on progress. Don’t do it that way. Telling. Directing. Correcting. Commanding. Dominating.

These are the characteristics of the Controller.

Leaders who assert control are highly engaged. They care about the company, the customer and their products. However, they don’t realize that they are often the reason that people don’t develop under them.

Controllers limit others’ growth by not giving them opportunities to experiment, take calculated risks or try something new. As a result, the Controller creates compliant followers; workers to do the work exactly how they want it done.

The impacts?

BOTTLENECKS because the controller wants everything to run up to and through them.

NO NEW IDEAS. This is how “we’ve always done it that way” becomes an accidental part of your culture. 

RESTRICTED GROWTH. You can have control or you can have growth, but you can’t have both. 

Working for a Controller is difficult.

You feel uncertain.

You feel restrained, held back.

You want to do more.

You have ideas that aren’t listened to.

If you are a controller, you have to embrace the idea that growth begins when controlling stops.

Trust your team. And if they’re not ready, then move to a coaching mindset.

One final note. No one is immune to negative types of leadership styles.

We all have them. Since your team can’t/won’t tell you, it’s up to you to take the initiative to work on your growth. You got this! 

James Mayhew is an expert on organizational culture and values-based leadership.