From Control to Influence
Employee Management Articles
Submit Articles Back to Articles
financial analyst once asked Herb Kelleher if he was afraid of losing control of
Southwest Airlines. Kelleher replied, "I never had control and I never wanted
it. If you create an environment where the people truly participate, you don't
Leadership and management are both very important to an organization, but they
are built on very different principles. You can get the sense of the differences
by looking at the etymology of the two words. Manage comes to English from the
Italian word "maneggiare," that literally means "to control a horse." Whereas
lead comes from an old English word which means "he who goes first in battle."
Leading doesn't have anything to do with controlling or managing. It has
everything to do with setting an example and influencing others.
today's "knowledge work" -- with its reliance on project teams and
cross-functional collaboration -- leadership in peer relationships is becoming
increasingly important. As the guidance of team efforts tends to shift to
whomever has the needed information or expertise, more people in the
organization must be able to lead through influence, rather than relying on the
control (or at least the illusion of control) that management position implies.
are many kinds of power a person can possess, but only one (ascribed power) is
willingly bestowed by others. This is the kind of power you have when the people
around you grant you authority and influence over them because you inspire them
to do so. As Dave Coolidge, CEO of William Blair & Company says, "Leadership is
not about job title. It isn't even a matter of style. At the core, it comes down
to two simple questions: What kind of person are you? And are those personal
qualities inspiring to others?"
Rather than tighten the reins of control, future leaders will need to find ways
to loosen their grip in order to harness the energies and talents of their team.
Recruiters report that new employees already insist they don't want to be
controlled or micro-managed. Instead, younger workers are demanding guidance,
respect, and a chance to add value to the organization - or they'll head for the
Leaders (at all levels of the organization) whose sphere of influence is greater
than their sphere of control have shifted attitudes and behaviors from one
column to the other:
Uses power to persuade others Shares power and responsibility
Knows the answer Asks provocative questions
Hands-on involvement Self-directed teams
Gains compliance Builds commitment
Enforces rules Presents clear choices
Punishes failure Encourages and analyzes failure
Takes success for granted Celebrates and analyzes success
Protects people from reality Communicates candidly
Motivates through "pep" talks Motivates through inclusion
Demands loyalty Builds mutual trust and loyalty
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to inspire others is to be a good
role model. Lead by example. Live your values. Gandhi once said that you must
become the change you want to see in the world. Moving from control to influence
may be as simple - and as difficult - as that.
About the Author
Kinsey Goman, Ph.D.is an international
Keynote speaker on collaborative leadership and the impact of
language in the workplace.
coach to executives to improve their leadership presence and
Leadership blogger for Forbes and author of "The Silent Language of
Leaders: How Body Language Can Help - or Hurt - How You Lead.”
Carol@CarolKinseyGoman.com Authors Google+
Follow us @Scopulus_News
Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-11-29 22:11:27 in Employee Articles