One hallmark of exemplary leadership is the ability to inspire cooperation among others. Control Freaks, on the other hand, do motivate by dangling a long carrot. But, instead of working with others to create alignment and heart-felt passion for a shared goal, they apply humiliation, intimidation and bullying. I spent a fair amount of time this summer taking a crash course in control-freak behavior with the unusual dynamic duo Paul and Layne Cutright, experts in relationship theory and application.
Recently, I’ve noticed a variety of situations crop up with control-freaks. Control is a tricky subject, diced with “shadow” aspects of our personalities. Things we really don’t want to look at by light of day. What is at the core of Control Freakdom?
One simple thing: The fear that we won’t get what we desire. It might seem paradoxical that a lot of successful (from the criteria of making bucks) people are control freaks. And so it perpetuates that among the marginally conscious that Control Freakdom is a good way to live your life. After all, lots of wealthy folks seem to be demanding, hard liners, so that must be the answer to creating wealth, right?
Hardly: There’s a huge price to pay for failing to deal with your fears. First of all, it takes tremendous energy to be a control freak. This wasteful energy expense saps life force over time, opening the door to dis-ease and illness. Secondly, it’s simply a sad strategy predicated on poor communication skills, manipulation, mistrust, and high levels of anxiety. Motivating people through intimidation and punishment eventually backfires. What a way to live-at any price.
More importantly, you don’t have to be a control freak to lead, create wealth, or find success. Other strategies work far, far better. And don’t devastate either your body, your mind, your family, your associates, or your life.