Is Your Inner Control Freak Doing You Any Good?

control freak for good
The popular image of a control freak is usually negative: someone who’s a perfectionist, always intense and impatient, who can’t or won’t trust anyone else. I’d recommend you not let yourself be that kind of control freak. Your typical control freak is known to:

The popular image of a control freak is usually negative: someone who’s a perfectionist, always intense and impatient, who can’t or won’t trust anyone else. I’d recommend you not let yourself be that kind of control freak. Your typical control freak is known to:

    • Always be running late
    • Putting out fires
    • Rushing from one thing to another
    • Burning the midnight oil
    • Pouring hours into the minutiae of a project or subject
    • Rejecting anything outside your comfort zone
    • Never listening to new ideas from employees, customers, or outsiders.
    • Insisting on your views or “that’s the way we do things here”

    None of these efforts generate growth. They hold the company and its employees back. What a waste of the intense energy control freaks have!

    Be a Control Freak Who Creates Growth

    What if you flipped your idea of control freak into a way of living and leading that creates great outcomes? I’ve been thinking about how that would change our lives and our companies from tense and anxious to high energy, flexible and successful

    We have four resources that I call ‘tangible intangibles.’ They are energy, focus, attention, and time. They are free and available to each of us, all the time. How you use them will make the difference in your eventual success.

    Pour your energy into creating growth. A growth mindset is always paramount and perhaps especially so in extremely uncertain times, like now. Putting your energy into an exceptionally clear and targeted strategy; building your brand around that strategy; and pinpointing your prospects with precision are ways to pour your energy into growth.

    Use your inclination to control by applying intense focus on the one issue, need, step, or decision right in front of you. It is the one that will get you to the next one. If you jump ahead or try to reach the outcome without understanding and investing in the intermediate steps, you’ll always be disappointed.

    For example, focus on your marketing—your efforts to attract interest. That is the purpose of marketing–attraction. When you pour your focus into marketing, you will generate more interest. Until you focus intensely on marketing—attraction—your sales results will be disappointing.

    Attention is looking at what surrounds or accompanies the things you’re focusing on. We always ask our clients two questions: 1) “What does success look like?” and 2) “What do you have to have to achieve that success?”

    Apply your attention to what you have to have to achieve your success. For example, if your focus right now is on brand, your attention should be on all the elements that contribute to a brand.

    “Time management” suggests that you can manage time. In fact, you can only manage what you do with the time you have. If you need $10 million dollars in new revenue in the next quarter, you must allocate your time—in writing–to all the activities that will get you there. Everyone needs to agree that saying “no” to other requests is the correct answer.

    How to Exert Control as You Lead Your Company

    Control begins with a clear strategy and set of strategic statements. Your company’s strategy must be simply articulated as “We (company name) provide X value to Y buyers for Z profits.”

    If you can’t articulate your strategy this simply, you won’t know how to control the use of your resources. Let me emphasize that a strategy that is simply and clearly articulated does not mean that your company’s work is simple. The more complex the work is, the more critical it is that you can articulate it simply.

    Strategic statements break your strategy into customer/client segments and product/services offered. You can have as many of these as you need to have complete clarity about what you do and for whom you do it. Here are three instructive examples.

    Once you have your strategic statements, you can apply energy, focus, attention, and time to them appropriately and effectively. For example, you will apply resources differently depending on the profit of each combination of customer and product/service.

    A low profit product that gives a certain group of buyers a taste of your company is worth having—but you must be careful that you control the amount of tangible intangibles you apply to them.

    A high value offering that is appreciated by your enthusiastic fans/best buyers and generates a high profit margin should get a lot of resources devoted to it.

    We love feeling in control. Keep in mind that you can control the use of your resources for good or for waste! Which are you going to do starting today?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.