Controls vs. Controlling

Good Morning!

The words that you are about to read are very close to me regarding my behavior as a leader and manager of others.  Please read through carefully and try to map my observances onto your behavior and see if it would be of any help to you.  If so, please message me directly as I’d be happy to share more and suggest a couple of resources to you.

A behavior I have been working on for quite some time has been my controlling nature in an attempt to create a consistent customer experience from start to finish in my company.  This behavior also bled into my personal life as well, although it was most prevalent in business.  I used to get internally angry when things didn’t go as expected and then “attempt” to not show it on the outside.  What I didn’t realize was my physical expression was that of an angry person… Low and behold, what I felt on the inside, without me saying a word, could be read on my face, my shoulders and entire posture.

What this seemingly did for myself and my staff was create a barrier; a barrier that was uncomfortable to cross or confront, even for the betterment of the company.  I unknowingly created a culture of “don’t talk to me when things go wrong because I’m upset,” even though the words I used were much different and thought to be inviting when solving problems.  I saw some of this in myself and the reactions of others, but I had no idea how ingrained it was in me nor how much of a true impact it made on others and my mental well-being.

While working on my Landmark Forum in early January of this year, I realized that when things went wrong or not as expected, I felt I had a loss of Power.  A loss of power to stop it or mitigate it, even when I “saw it coming” or planned for this particular issues eventuality.  In-turn I was internally conflicted, and my thoughts did not match my outward expression.  Which led me back to a book that I read “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter” by Liz Wiseman. I was acting as a “diminisher” of the problem-solving talents of my staff.  Due to the “loss of power” I felt the need to control the situation further to create the best outcome possible…  Big revelation and a big pill to swallow at my young age, but who’s counting age, right!? For help defining a diminisher vs. multiplier, please read this article first

When this revelation came full circle and to the forefront of my willpower to deal with, these words immediately popped into my head, “controls verse controlling.”  As I read into my thoughts, like a sane person I swear, I felt a huge relief and weight lifted.  I am going to dedicate my time to implementing internal controls and training myself and my staff to deal with problems that arise in an as consistent manner as possible.  Given we could not script every problem that may arise, after 12 years of business we’ve encountered quite a few.  Hence I started writing them down and meeting with my team leads weekly to empower them to do the same.

After a couple of weeks, we collectively came back with a myriad of potential problems and wrote procedures around them and how to deal with them.  I knew at that point that each person had a say in how we dealt with our company’s issue resolution and created deep buy-in on said resolution.  It made me proud to see and hear the suggestions that came out of my team. With a common goal of consistent problem resolution combined with a true “Multiplier” environment allowed for progress that I have not seen or felt in quite some time.

I am not sure if my staff, family or close friends may read this but I’d like you to know that without your feedback (verbal, written or not at all) I may never have had this breakthrough or it may have been in my 40’s, which is like forever from now…  I continue to implement controls in my personal and professional life that essentially throw red flags when crossed, for me to deal with them effectively.  What I’ve noticed is I can be more present and aware in every moment of my day, which makes myself and everyone around me happier as well.  I am fun again and not trying to control everything that happens around me. Furthermore, instead of me relying on my emotion that day and how I’m going to deal with X problem, they now have a method or procedure and are on paper.  Just like a journal or writing this type of article, once it’s on paper, we have something to work with and immediately create positive progress.

Work on implementing controls for your service or product verse trying to directly and personally control the outcome of your service or product. I am open to suggestions, comments, and your sharing.  You may direct message me by replying to this email or going to https://www.facebook.com/adam.dellos or https://www.instagram.com/hikingrugger

Have a stellar day!

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