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Give Up Control to Get Control

When I teach leadership programs, inevitably the topic of control comes up. In general, the leaders in the room want more of it, and that's often why they seek higher positions in their company. When this conversation comes up, I prepare myself, because we are about to start confronting some beliefs. Why prepare myself? Have you ever heard the term "Don't shoot the messenger?" Confronting beliefs is like walking through a minefield. Yet it's in confronting our beliefs and assumptions that we can find freedom on the other side. There are many, many beliefs about leadership that are downright false - and it's one of the reasons that learning to be a good leader is so difficult. Here are a few: "If I'm the boss, it's my job to have the answers and know what to do." "If I were in charge, I would be able to get more done than those [fill in the blank with whatever term you use to describe people you don't agree with.] are getting done." "If I ask for help, it means I am weak." "If I disagree with my boss, I will either get fired or demoted." "If I show vulnerability, they will eat me alive."  "My main job is to maximize financial returns." "If I'm the boss, I will have more control." Many, many of these beliefs live outside of our conscious awareness, so they operate in the background, like the apps draining the battery on your smartphone. These beliefs also operate ...
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