Seek Influence, Not Control

autonomy growth and development influence leadership Jun 06, 2023

What are some of the things that come to mind when you think of leadership? Do you think of managing people or do you think of guiding them? Controlling them or influencing them? Being a leader is not about being in control of others, enforcing rules, or giving out orders. Leaders guide others toward a common goal and influence their behavior by modeling their expectations. Employees look to their leaders to gauge how to react, the amount of effort to give, and what to expect from others.

Although leaders have control over their people’s daily tasks/schedules, they should seek to provide autonomy in the workplace. If you are always having to micromanage your people, it is not an effective use of your time or your employees’ time. Use your influence to help your employees become self-sufficient, and you will see significant increases in productivity and likely even motivation. When individuals play their own role in the success of the company and by their own doing, they develop a sense of value and belonging. People have an innate need to belong, and when you provide an environment in which people feel as though they have a community that they can turn to, it creates an emotional tie to the organization. And if you boss your people around all day, it will feel as if they are nothing more than a work mule. There comes a time when you realize that influence can be much more powerful than control. 

Seek influence, not control.


-Meghan Slaughter

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