Archives For Control Cataracts

As outlined in  Control Cataracts (Part 1) ,  Control Cataracts is a disorder that occurs in a leader’s vision. It happens when someone becomes desperate to maintain control at the expense of the group or the organization. He or she becomes reluctant to share any measure of authority for fear of losing control. This results in a blindness to the value that could be added by those around them, as well as a short-sightedness as to what success really looks like. Competent employees do not appreciate Control Cataracts; this leadership style erodes confidence and motivation, and will eventually drive them away.

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As outlined in  Control Cataracts (Part 1) ,  Control Cataracts is a disorder that occurs in a leader’s vision. It happens when someone becomes desperate to maintain control at the expense of the group or the organization. He or she becomes reluctant to share any measure of authority for fear of losing control. This results in a blindness to the value that could be added by those around them, as well as a short-sightedness as to what success really looks like. Competent employees do not appreciate Control Cataracts; this leadership style erodes confidence and motivation, and will eventually drive them away.

Improve leadership skills, and reduce the tendency to micromanage in your organization, with the following strategies:

1) Expect more of your employees; encourage them to have powerful expectations of themselves. Knowing that you believe in them and hold them to a higher standard is vital to improving organizational performance.

2) Improved communication will reduce the acute nature of Control Cataracts. Encourage those with the disorder to hold feedback sessions with employees in which they, first, compliment them for something they have achieved or done well.  Only then can they provide feedback and ask questions about an issue that may concern them. Finally, encourage your micromanagers to finish the session with another commendation. By finishing the feedback sessions on a positive note, they will preserve employee’s dignity and commitment to the job.

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Control Cataracts is a disorder that occurs in a leader’s vision. It happens when someone becomes desperate to maintain control at the expense of the group or the organization. He or she becomes reluctant to share any measure of authority for fear of losing control. This results in a blindness to the value that could be added by those around them, as well as a short-sightedness as to what success really is.

Leadership is about influence – not control. I am not the only person to make this observation, but it is worth repeating. If leadership involves control, it is only over setting an organization’s course and priorities. Those companies increasing in value the most are those with leaders that have a clear vision, continually communicate that vision, and then get out of the way and let their people do what they are paid to do. Trust is one of the most valuable things you can give to both individuals and teams.  It is important to keep in mind that often our people can do things just as well, or in some cases, better than we do.

Your role as a leader is to bring people to a higher level of effectiveness, whatever the goal might be. A team is only as effective as its weakest link. If you have the unfortunate disorder of Control Cataracts within your organization and fail to eradicate it, you make your organization weak because over time self-confidence wanes and self-esteem diminishes across the board.

Even the best leaders, however, sometimes fall into the trap of involving themselves in minute details where they would do better to leave well enough alone. When leaders succumb to Control Cataracts, they are very likely to fail.  Even good leaders need reminding of that. Delegate responsibilities and let those responsible for the tasks be accountable for getting them done.

Micromanagers prevent employees from making – and taking responsibility for – their own decisions. But it’s precisely the process of making decisions, and living with the consequences of those decisions, that allows people to grow and improve.  Effective leaders empower employees to do well by providing opportunities to excel; Less effective leaders disempower their employees by hoarding opportunities. And because a disempowered employee is an ineffective employee he or she will require a lot of time and energy. It’s that time and energy, multiplied across an organization of timid, intimidated employees that amounts to a serious and self-defeating drain on a leader’s time.

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