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When and Why to Let Go of Control

Think Back to When you Started your Career

Did you ever have a supervisor that always had to be in control? Were you given a project and micromanaged every step of the way? If you were just getting started on your career path, a controlling boss might have been temporarily tolerable as you were learning and needed more direction. However, after a while, the micromanaging started to get old and you became resentful.

I had one of those bosses in my corporate career. I could not make a decision without running it by him. It’s one thing to have a leader that is a partner and provides support when needed. It’s quite another when any action you take, no matter how small, has to be approved by your boss. I eventually left the company because I was miserable being micromanaged and felt I had no growth opportunity.

What type of leader are you? Do you have a strong need for control and to take charge? Are you competitive and prefer to communicate by challenging others? Are you stimulated by and connect through conflict? Are you surprised when others feel hurt, resentful, or intimidated by your behavior? These are characteristics of the Controller.

Controllers Have an all or Nothing Mindset

You’re either in control or out of control. The lie of the Controller is if you work hard enough you can and should control the situation because others want and need you to take control. You’re doing them a favor. Nothing will get done if you’re not in charge. You must push people.

Controllers experience high anxiety and stress when they are not in control of a situation. They can easily become impatient with others when they feel they are not being followed.

The Controller may get temporary results but at the cost of others feeling resentful and controlled. Eventually, this will lead to attrition.

Similar to the Hyper-Rational, the Controller has little time for emotions, especially vulnerability. Emotions are a sign of weakness and can make it difficult to remain in control.

By Developing Mental Fitness, Controllers can Redirect their Controlling Tendencies to Controlling Their Own Mind

Vulnerability becomes helpful for survival and is viewed as a strength and not a weakness. Relationships improve as they are no longer confrontational. Productivity in the workplace improves as teammates are able to make their own decisions and learn by them.

If you’d like to learn more about how mental fitness can help you in your personal and professional life, I encourage you to book a discovery call via email at


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