Drew BarontiniProduct Director at Differential



January 16, 2020

Reading Time

1 min.

One of the biggest learnings I've had in my career around leadership is the idea you must give control in order to get control. I've seen this happen to other leaders, and I know it's happened to me (a lot). I assume I have to control all situations for my team in order to ensure the team's success. I believe they want me to do that, and I am, in fact, helping them by taking more control.

But I'm not. That's a leadership fallacy.

What happens, instead, is you acquire more control, develop more team dependence (you are now the dependency!), create a sense of distrust, and lose sight of the forest through the trees. Why? Because now all the ins and outs run through you instead of through the team. Your sense of control becomes a distortion of reality, which prevents you from focusing on the right things as a leader, and letting your team grow.

But how does giving control help?

Because your team now grows, learns, and assumes deeper responsibility and accountability for all the functions of the team. Doing so allows you to teach, train, mentor, and focus your time on the high-value activities you should be focusing on. You gain more clarity and time, which is invaluable when you are leading a team.

That is control.

When you try and control everything, you are now losing control of your time and ability to concentrate on the most important tasks. When you relinquish control to your team, you are now in a position to delegate, growing your team — and the individuals of that team — to a higher level. This gives you time. This gives you control.

Embrace it, and you will be a leader (human) who is more in control.