…Great quote by Deborah Mills-Scofield – Harvard Business Review.
I want to take the thought even further to say controlling managers suck and I’m glad I’m not one. Have you ever noticed how much energy you expend trying to control anything, whether it’s navigating a car on an icy road; crafting with an overzealous glue gun; or even engaging in small talk? The latter usually results in the pain of knowing you overshared with some random person with whom you were just trying to be sociable.
Now imagine controlling managers are spending that same energy ten times over to create a false sense of security for themselves. What could be uglier than that– besides maybe scoring a great sample sale on your favorite designer shoes and discovering one shoe is too tight, or really cheap chocolate that looks delicious until you taste it, or God forbid, dating a stalker who happens to be so adorable that you try to overlook that flaw? There is no beauty in control and there is certainly no art in it.
“When we don’t give people the space to take calculated risks, learn, apply, and iterate, we are really risking our future. While there is a risk to improvising and spontaneity, control brings its own insidious dangers. In our push for perfection, we over-engineer. We add so many bells and whistles that it takes a genius to use the product. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. Just because we can practice to perfection doesn’t mean that’s best.” -BRENDA MICHELSON
As I’m sure that many of you can relate, I’ve had some awful managers over my career. It wasn’t until I became a manager that the definition of good vs bad leader became an acutely sensitive topic for me. The last thing I ever wanted to do was to suck at being a leader. And, it was at the point of questioning the difference that I realized I was still being influenced by my bad experiences with those hideously awful managers. I was experiencing a sort of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that made me run like hell from the next leadership role.
Even with the glaring “DO NOT DRAFT ME AS A LEADER” badge that I wear over my business suits, I continually find myself a habitual leader. Then, in my quest for clarity and self-realization, I found this quote and finally, finally, I get it. I understand why I actually am perfect for the role.
“Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration— of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.” -Lance Secreten