“I consider myself an enabler more than a manager, but I’m also a bit of a control freak,” says Toronto-based Katie Taylor, 55, the chief executive of luxury hotel brand Four Seasons.
Intuitively and intellectually, Taylor knows that it’s good for her employees to have autonomy and decision-making power over bigger and bigger projects. That’s how they learn, grow and become more confident. But in reality, it’s not always as easy as it sounds. “We’re rewarded in our careers for doing things and taking control,” she says. “Type-A people assumed leadership positions on the playground. Early success gets supported by the overuse of the control-freak gene.”
So while Taylor may want to hand over the reins of a project for the good of the team, she still has to fight her instinct to make suggestions, tinker or take over. “Sit on your hands, if you have to,” she says. “Get yourself to that place.”
While the degree may vary, most professionals are familiar with their inner control freak—that nagging feeling that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. It generally manifests as the micromanager, the overworked boss who has trouble delegating, the team member who takes over everything or the perfectionist worker who becomes trapped in the details.
The inherent danger is that, over time, the demands you’ve placed on yourself will become so great that either your work or your health (or both) will suffer. Meanwhile, you end up frustrating and stifling the creatively of everyone around you, including yourself.
“Controlling people are controlled themselves by the compulsion of having to do it all and do it all perfectly,” says Paul Baard, Ph.D., organizational psychologist and management professor at Fordham University in New York. “You frustrate your own autonomy to make mistakes.” In his research, Baard has consistently found that when workers have independence and the power to make their own decisions they are motivated, energized and physically healthier…
Read more: Forbes